Formula 1

Budget Cap Would ‘bring us closer’ to Frontrunners – Fernley

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Robert Fernley believes a budget cap should bring the midfield runners closer to the front runners, even if the expected $150 million cap won’t change the Sahara Force India F1 Team’s financial position.

Liberty Media is expected to announce the budget cap to Formula 1 towards the end of 2017, with the aim of it to hopefully reduce the gap from the front of the field to the back.

Fernley, the deputy team principal of Force India, says that will a more even financial level in the field, it would benefit the Silverstone-based team and the other outfits that have significantly less budgets than the leading teams such as the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.

It probably won’t affect us at all – and probably won’t affect half the grid at all if the truth be known,” said Fernley to RACER. “But what it will do is bring us closer.

“Would Force India be willing to have a go with a $30 million budget difference to the big teams? And the answer’s yes, as opposed to the $230m difference that we’ve got today!”

Fernley admits introducing the budget cap will have to be phased in rather than implemented in one go, particularly to help the bigger teams with the bigger budgets come to terms to the restrictions.

“Yeah, I think they’re working on that and hopefully will do so,” said Fernley. “We need to be delivering it this year – I think that’s important. It looks promising that they’re on target for that.

“I don’t know [what the figure is going to be], there are different figures bounded around every now and then. But I think the main thing to do is get the presentation and the format of it and then develop it from there. Hopefully we can agree something in principle that can then be implemented.

“I’m sure that it’s going to have to go on a glide path – I don’t think for one minute that you can do it overnight. So we’ve got to be fair to the teams that have got to cut back.”

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