Manor’s one-car strategy raises eyebrows

Date published: March 30 2015

Force India's Bob Fernley says Manor's decision not to run two cars at the same time in Malaysia was "not good for their own image".

Although the team made the trip to Australia, they failed to take part in any of the sessions with F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone saying they went to Melbourne with "zero intention" of running.

They made their way to Kuala Lumpur this weekend, but their drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi failed to appear on track at the same time.

Stevens ended up missing both qualifying and the race due to a fuel system problem, but his Spanish team-mate completed the race, albeit three laps behind race winner Sebastian Vettel.

Force India deputy team principal Fernley admits he is not impressed by the Banbury squad's approach.

"It doesn't surprise me!" he told "I don’t think I need to say anything, the powers that be will deal with that accordingly. There was a clear program in Australia of going to Australia and not running at all – to my knowledge that was not even enough fuel to run – and that was a clear strategy.

"I think it was a very clear strategy here to run one car and you have to look at it from the point of view of is that in the spirit of what you’re trying to achieve? But that’s up to the FIA and the commercial rights holder, it’s not up to us. Manor are doing what they can do as best they can, it’s up to them to decide their tactics.

"If you can run one car you can run both, and then you can test them even better – you get twice the testing! I think they need to [run both in China], it’s not good for their own image what they’re doing.

"I think they have to look at themselves and look at do they feel that’s the right approach to things, because clearly they’ve been determined before they’ve even arrived at the circuit."