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Fernley questions if teams can survive
26 May 2013
Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says he feels some F1 teams will be faced with a battle for survival next year when new engine regulations come into force.
From 2014 onwards, the sport will switch to new 1.6-litre turbo-charged engines that replace the current 2.4-litre V8 units.
While the new engines are set to be 'greener', they are also set to be noticeably more expensive than the units they replace – which Fernley insisted would put some teams under huge financial pressure.
"You shouldn't underestimate the resolve of Formula One teams, they are incredibly resilient and probably will come through," he told
. "But to add to the level of costs to the teams at this time in an economic cycle, one has to question whether they can all survive."
Fernley also called into question how much some of the smaller teams on the grid would benefit from the latest deals being done with commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone – insisting it was more beneficial to the big budget squads at the front than to those further back.
Those individual agreements are currently in place of the latest version of the Concorde Agreement – which remains unsigned.
"CVC have got an agenda as bankers to make as much money out of their investment as they possibly can and that involves minimal investment,” Fernley said, “and that is not in the sport's interests. It's the worst combination that you can have.
"I only question the logic of it. Are we actually trying to stack it in a way that is to get rid of teams so they can bring customer teams in maybe?
"Once you bring in 'customer teams' you've lost the identity of Formula One. And you as a team have lost your identity. So you're now just an appendage. There are four teams that have been given special privilege and those four teams would be the ones that are likely to supply the customer teams. So everything is now moving in the way of the four teams."
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