‘Money didn’t play role in no vote’

Date published: February 8 2015

Although conceding that Force India are going through a "tough" time financially, Bob Fernley says that played no role in the team saying no to Marussia's bid.

Earlier this week, the F1 Strategy Group – which now includes Force India – blocked Marussia's plans to run a 2014 car when they failed to agree unanimously to the proposal.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone suggested they had done so in order to get their hands on the team's ninth-place prize money.

"The money that they should have got gets distributed amongst the teams that are racing," he told the Independent newspaper."That’s a pretty good reason I suppose."

One team in serious need of that money, and any other they can raise, is Force India.

The team failed to attend the opening test of this season with reports suggesting finances played a role.

Force India are reportedly yet to receive their 2015 monocoque from supplier EOM as the 'bills have not been paid.'

However, Fernley, whose team wants the rules changed to give smaller outfits a bigger share of the sport's revenues, says that was not behind the no vote.

"We’ve not made any secret of the issues involved in Formula 1, but that had nothing to do with the decision on Marussia," the deputy team principal of Force India told Sky Sports News HQ.

"Force India is very supportive of the smaller teams and a leader in trying to maintain them all, so there’s a lot of empathy and a lot of sympathy for Marussia, but the onus is on them to be able to demonstrate what they can do. So we have to make those decisions independently.

"Have we got some of our own issues? Yes we have, but we’ll deal with those."

Addressing the issues at Force India, who are expected to also sit out the second test at Barcelona later this month, Fernley concedes the situation is tough.

"It would be wrong for me to say we’re all having a wonderful time – we’re having a tough time and costs are rising," he told .

"The income distribution is very well documented and none of that is being addressed."