F1 Winter Break
Force India says car delays and missed tests caused in part by collapse of Caterham and Marussia
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Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  10 Feb 2015   |  7:03 pm GMT  |  157 comments

Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley has placed some of the blame for the team’s delayed preparations for the 2015 season at the feet of collapsed rivals Caterham and Marussia.

At the weekend Fernley told the BBC that after sitting out 2015’s opening test in Jerez, the Silvestone outfit will also not have its new car ready for the second pre-season outing in Barcelona and that he is merely “hopeful” that the team will be at the final test, which starts three days later at the Circuit de Catalunya on February 26th.

“From the information I have today and knowing what we do, the answer is yes,” he said when asked if the team would race in Melbourne.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 17.30.40

“The question for me is only how much of the third test we will participate in,” he added. “We won’t make the second test at all – although we are looking at taking the ’14 car there to do a little bit of driver and tyre work.

“I’m hoping we will make the start of the third test with the ’15 car, but we have to get as much of it as we can.”

And Fernley now says that part of the reason for the delays with the VJM08 can be attributed to the collapse of backmarkers Caterham and Marussia at the end of last season.

“As you know we’ve recently started working with Toyota’s wind tunnel at their facility in Cologne,” Fernley told the Press Association. “However, the Toyota people had agreements with Caterham, and quite rightly until they could resolve their Caterham issues we could not move in with our contract.

“We didn’t get the go-ahead until early December, so we were behind schedule before we had even started.

“On top of that we’ve had a few issues with suppliers because they’ve obviously been hurt very badly by the Marussia and Caterham demises,” he added. “They wanted payments up front, which hurt us cash-flow wise, and for one minute I don’t blame the suppliers at all. I would do exactly the same if my financial position had been hurt very badly. But it hasn’t helped us and has meant we’ve had a few slow downs in different areas.

“Is it perfect? No it isn’t, but will we get through? Yes, we will,” he concluded. “It is only cash flow at the end of the day. It’s not that the budget isn’t there, which is the same thing every year. Normally we can get through by working with the suppliers, but this year we couldn’t do that, so it has slowed us down a little.”

Rumours of the team being in financial difficulties have circulated for some time. As a member of F1’s Strategy Group, Force India were among the teams that last week blocked the return of Marussia to the F1 grid, though Fernley insisted that the prospect of a multi-million pound windfall in the shape of Marussia’s TV revenue was not the motivation behind the move. “£4m to the team is nice but not the driver for the decision,” said the Force India Deputy Team Principal.

 

 

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1

Surprised to go through the inputs of some keyboard warriors here.. Stop throwing out s**t from your imagination. How many of those know the genuinity of what the team guy said.. Yea it was a comedy to go through some comments..

Yea Vijay might be involved in financial fraud and Bernie was charged with the same few years back, their title sponsor might be in jail, but that has nothing to do with SFI.

Formula one is not all about testing, let them plan their schedule, strategy and race and their finances. Dont understand why few peeps are too much worried of this.. Not a big fan SFI, but impressed with what they did last year as a midpack team. They utilised all their resources well and earned the respect of many.. I prefer to relate a teams performance with their budget.. Talks cheap Let the race begin..

3

Sounds like double speak for the team being on the the verge of closing

4

Oh, OK. I thought all this was going to be all MY fault…

5

the simple fact of the matter is that if you haven’t got the cash then you can’t go racing in F1. just how easy is that to understand? the terms and conditions are there for all to see/read and understand. all this chest beating about how some teams are treated poorly is indicative of the global trend of everyone is a victim!!!

no one twisted their respective arms and said that you have to do this. these teams need to get their house in order. if there is any blame to be attached then blame those responsible for introducing the silliest of maxims by turning F1 into ‘economy runs’.

leave that to the LMP people who have done a really great job. yes, introduce new tech by all means but first make certain that all the teams are financially secure enough to pay for it. the sheer volume of capital employed to bring these PU’s into play was and still is simply insane.

6

mmmm … yeah … maybe all teams need to fail and go into the bankruptcy at least by November so Farce India can win something …

7

Comedy gold! I suppose it’s also Marussia’s fault that Force India vetoed their use of a 2014 car.

8

From the parties FI gives (used to anyway) during the Monaco GP on-board the the owner’s yatch I wonder why I am not surprised that they now are in this financial poo-poo ?!

9

Jimmy’s dog ate his homework, so I can’t turn my homework in.

Seriously, though, F1 really needs a makeover on the finances. The current system is clearly in bad shape.

10

One of the minority not sad to see Caterham and Marussia go, but FI’s position is absurd. Why on Earth would you say this publicly? What’s the benefit?

11

Manor F1 should join Force India and become… You guessed it “Manor F I ” “If you cant lick em..join em”

12

Force India could use the extra 20 quid!

13

Force India. Now everyone’s least favourite team?

If Force India are struggling to develop the 2015 car couldn’t they just ask for an exception from the other teams to run the 2014 car…..

Joking aside seems like Force India need to re-consider the proposal for Super GP2 or a two tiered F1. There’s a lot of things you can say against Max Moseley but he got that one right back in 2009.

14

“I can’t really blame the suppliers for wanting cash up front..” I bet you can’t !

15

I’ve heard some excuses in my time…

16

I’d have blocked the teams coming back as well. Manor have no chance of lasting in F1 and if I believe if Bianchi didn’t score a point last season and wasn’t injured people wouldn’t care either. When teams are struggling to make money getting 4 million extra is a sum everyone would make sure they get

17

Manor would not have got their prize money anyway. The rules say that you can’t collect your prize money if you are insolvent.

18

First prize money payments are made in April

19

Farce India!

20

May The Farce be with us this season?

21

According to the TJ13 web site, the reason Force India can not test their 2015 car is because the contractor who manufactured the chassis is withholding it until payment for work completed is received.

22

maybe there is a shred of truth in what ferneley says re cash flow. fringe dwellers live off the credit given by manu’s and juggle the payments so that someone else is always paying out on their behalf. when i was in business, debtors days, based on a strict 30days from invoice TOT always ran at between 45 and 50 days…and that was considered to be better than average!

with caterham and marussia out of the frame and subsequently manu’s suffering big losses the ‘house of cards’ has come tumbling down. F I has always been on the edge and they are now in danger of toppling over.

23

What good is it having these teams in F1? People say it would be a terrible thing for F1 to only have, say, 14 cars on the grid. Why would it? All the others are completely uncompetitive and add nothing to my enjoyment of the sport. They’re just there, and boring. You could argue that they are incubators for young drivers, but that doesn’t really happen any more. Most drivers that join top teams come in from other forumulas, school etc.

24

But even if the slower cars are off the pace they are still shooting down the back straight at 200mph. More cars = a greater all round spectacle, plus its always good to have some back-markers in the way when the leaders come round. It keeps things interesting,

25

14 cars would be a disaster! How many times have races been spiced up by two leading cars fighting it out only to come across a backmarker and it initiate some overtaking? Before DRS it was almost the only way to pass someone on the track, now it’s an added spice that opens up other overtaking opportunities.

Plus imagine being at somewhere like Spa with a long lap. Evenly spaced out you’d get one car past you every 7 or so seconds, have a few bunches of 3 cars driving round and you’d have a glimpse of F1 cars every 20 seconds at best for 90 minutes!

Having 20 cars with a lap time spread of 4-5 seconds difference through the grip seems to be about right to me. Gives enough spread to mean it’s not one big bunch running around but not so much that a mid-grid team can have a good weekend and jump up the order a bit.

26

The moderators would have a busy time if I said what I really wanted to say

27

I have a feeling they’re having a busy time anyway but I get what you’re saying 🙂

28

I think this issue of cash flow is something which should be taken seriously. Understanding the pressure they must face when teams fail, it is surely in the interest of F1 for there to be some kind of insurance/assistance to prevent cash flow hurting teams which have participated for several years.

I think it is wise for those in charge to remember that there will always be backmarkers. Caterham and Marruisia today, Sauber and Force India tomorrow, Torro Rosso and Lotus the next… How will you attract new talent when investors watch previously successful teams tumbling down the order?

You cant have a one horse race and still call it F1.

29

@ jordan…yes you can. it is called F 1only !!!

30

Doesn’t Ferrari have a used one? Like new. Only used twice.

31

I believe it needs re calibrating, again……

32

Let’s see how many good times Ferrari set in the races before you start insulting other teams.

33

At least their car sets good time during testing not like some un-named “English ” team that can’t get out of the pits…!

34

Ecclestone wins again, no Marussia no Caterham no Force India. Three cars for 2016 or last races of 2015.

35

The financial situation is critical for a number of teams, Force India have to use damage limitation-speak to try and reassure whatever sponsors they have, and whatever suppliers they need, to keep going until the first race of the season.

36

Yes quite. In so many words, their suppliers and contractors are at fault, but they don’t blame their suppliers and contractors because that would be unfair. Sheesh, sounds like a bunch of 12 year old girls talking behind each other’s backs and not professionals in the epitome of motorsports.

37

Not that I have a dog in this hunt, but some of the bashing may not be (fully) justified. It’s not uncommon to have a schedule of payments as opposed to a lump-sum from their corporate sponsors. As such, when the payment terms changed with some of their vendors, Force India would have to request an accelerated payment terms with their sponsors. Unfortunately, this request isn’t a quick process given the magnitude of money involved. I think this is why Fernley cited cash flow as opposed to budget. So, the demise of Caterham and Marussia do play a part because now these vendors no longer have the operating capital to run their businesses which forced them to change the terms with Force India. In doing so, they were delayed in getting their 2015 car into production.

38

The point here is slightly different in that the ONLY sponsors VJ and Force India have are Mallya owned companies, so the team is effectively privately run. If VJ F1 needs money then VJ Sponsor should just write the cheque (if he dare).

The problem here is that VJ’s ‘woes’ are so well documented in the press that I suspect that the reason suppliers are worried about extending credit is MUCH more to do with this.

39

I do not work for a F1 team, so I do not know how they set up their Budget for the year or accounts with suppliers…but I would guess that they do not have a bucket full of cash at the beginning of the season, and that the Budget flows as the season progresses, with partial payments etc with sponsors and what not thru out the year…just guessing.

If suppliers are owed lots of money and know that they cannot retrieve it…yes they do ask for cash up front…I know, I had a restaruant and lost my privilige of buy now and pay later…They wouldn’t do that to Ferrari or McLaren, but are probably wary of smaller teams.

His only comment that seems odd is with regards to the Wind Tunnel…don’t get that one at all…very complicated on the administrative side for sure…

However I do think that he has answered some very difficult questions about what is going on with themselves, and I do believe that Force India’s position has been compromised because the demise of Marussian and Caterham…it is nothing less than a shame…

Can somebody please put a Cap on spending and share out the money more Equitably.

That would be a good start…

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