Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says “it would be bad for the sport” if Red Bull is successful with its appeal of Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix.
Red Bull will have its appeal heard in front of the FIA in Paris on Monday, with Ricciardo having originally been excluded in Melbourne for constantly exceeding the maximum permitted fuel flow. With the team believing Ricciardo's fuel flow sensor to have been faulty, Red Bull's case centres on the fact that guidance on what to do in such a situation came from an FIA technical directive, which it claims has no regulatory value.
However, speaking exclusively to Crash.net
, Fernley said teams have often worked to technical directives and that the sport would be damaged if Red Bull is successful with its argument.
“It's difficult to tell really because you never know with a tribunal which way it's going to go,” Fernley said. “I think it wouldn't be healthy if the appeal was upheld – for the sport – because then I think you have a situation of anarchy that grows. We've lived for so long working to technical directives and if a technical directive is deemed not to be something that you have to adhere to then I don't know where Formula One goes.”
When it was put to Fernley that a similar argument was used by Mercedes during the tyre test tribunal, he said he believes the two situations are not comparable.
“I think that was a different issue. This was a direct contravention of a directive. The tyre test was a lot of grey areas, whereas this is a direct, head-on rebuttal of a directive really and they're deeming it not legal.
“For all the years that I've known a technical directive the teams have all complied to, and in fact the same thing happened of course in Australia because ten teams complied to it and one didn't. So I think it would be bad for the sport if the appeal was upheld.”