Force India going into administration has created a lot of unrest in the F1 world, as Renault, Williams and McLaren have also gotten involved in the entire ‘administration’ process, as they have denied the approval to let Force India carry forward their payout bonus when a new owner comes in and buys the team.
As a result, Force India is set to lose out on $150 million, something that could push away new owners.
Renault have raised a very pertinent issue while talking about their Force India stance.
The issue of B-teams could plague Formula 1 soon as is visible from Ferrari-Haas-Saber situation(though Haas and Sauber are not official Ferrari B-teams).
Mercedes have been a little threatened by this Ferrar-Haas-Sauber relationship and could make Force India their ‘B-Team’ should Force India last in F1.
And Renault are not particularly thrilled about this new development in F1.
“That’s not the type of F1 we like,” Abiteboul said as quoted by BBC Sport.
“We are a little bit afraid that such a construction would make it impossible for anyone who is not enjoying the benefit of a master team or slave team to be competitive at their own level.
“We start to see some glimpses of that today in certain aspects of the grid or the development of the chassis or engine,” he adds. “We need to make sure it does not become a necessity, otherwise our model does not work and our involvement can’t be sustainable.” he added.
Formula 1 sporting boss Ross Brawn yesterday made a comment about how F1 and Liberty Media would do everything in their power to save Force India.
Renault boss isn’t quite thrilled with that comment and wants to know about how Liberty Media is approaching this situation.
“‘We will make sure that no job is under any threat,’ he says of the deal, that is very certain. But we just want to understand the vision of the commercial rights holder in that respect.
“The only thing where we want to have a little bit of clarity is we understand that there are right now a number of incentives for large and smaller teams to get together and take advantage either of the current regulations or future regulations.” Abiteboul said.
Abiteboul also confirmed that Renault will not ‘block’ a move for Force India to stay in F1 as they are concerned about the jobs.
“The answer is no, because we want to save the jobs. But we want to have the reassurance required before we have to vote that this will not be the case.” Abiteboul said.
So, for Renault the biggest issue with Force India staying in F1 is the fact that they might go onto partner Mercedes in the future and become a huge threat/deal in the midfield.
However, Mercedes have declined the rumours of them buying Force India out.
“We don’t like the concept of B-teams in Formula 1,” Wolff said
“We’d rather not have this structure because it provides advantages to both teams, and competitive advantages, you could argue. We are not buying Force India and we would rather not have the concept of a B-team.
“I understand there are questions from Cyril and others over what is the future of F1 if big teams buy smaller teams, which I completely respect,” he adds. “I completely share those thoughts and I don’t think it is the right way forward.
“I hope we can find a discussion so the scope of co-operation is narrowed down between teams. There are commercial arrangements that make sense, but there are downsides to it. And that is the competitive order can change.
“So we need to find a solution to how the small teams can benefit from shared infrastructure but at the same time not gain an advantage that is currently possible.
“We have held discussions with every potential buyer to my knowledge and the most important thing is someone with the right funds buys the team. But we are not orchestrating it. It is in the hands of the administrator.
“It needs to be the best outcome for the creditors of the team and that is to sell for the best financial outcome.” Wolff concluded.
Now, Renault would be a little concerned with how Force India could come back strong once cash is infused into the system, they cannot really be paranoid about Force India partnering up with Mercedes later on and hence block the move at this stage.
Killing competition for the short term could result in a long term loss for the sport and Renault should try to prevent it in every way possible.