Fernley in favour of just 10 teams


Liberty Media should keep the number of Formula 1 teams down to 10; that’s according to Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

Only 10 teams will compete in this year’s championship following the demise of Manor. The sport, though, does have the provision to field as many as 12 teams.

Fernley feels new owners Liberty should keep it down to 10.

“I think Liberty need to work with the FIA because there is a provision for 12 teams under the current F1 regulations,” he told Crash.net.

“But to develop a team, you look at what Haas has done. They’ve done a remarkable job with incredible financing and good quality owners, yet it has not been easy.

“Looking at a team which may take three to five years to establish itself, plus 400 people minimum for it to work as a constructor, and a £200-£300 million investment.

“Do you want to go through that for 12 teams or stick with 10.”

Fernley added that the FIA should rigorously check the viability of teams before allowing them into the sport, including Manor should the team somehow return at the last minute.

“The FIA need to do their job properly in assessing the viability of that [Manor] recovery and that is not difficult to do. Haas did a fantastic job coming in with the right backing, no questions. If Manor comes back in you are going to face a couple of things.

“It is unlikely they will have a competitive car. These cars are incredibly quick so the 107% rule needs got be rigorously enforced and that means they don’t make the races.

“When I made that decision to vote against Manor coming in [in 2015 Force India voted against the previously branded Marussia returning after being in administration] it was only going to affect the pride of one person.

“I would do everything in my power to keep that team together because it now involves 200 families and that is the consequence you have for not being strong enough at the beginning.”