Red Bull exit could force F1 change

Red Bull pulling out of Formula 1 could be what is required to trigger a necessary overhaul of the championship’s regulations, according to Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

F1 has come under a barrage of criticism recently, with several senior figures calling for change to improve the show for the fans, reduce costs and close up the competition.

redbull-three-inlineRed Bull billionaire owner Dietrich Mateschitz threatened to quit the series during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, though team boss Christian Horner has since said the team intends to stay.

The exits of the Honda, Toyota and BMW teams in quick succession in 2008-09 prompted a rules overhaul including substantial cost-cutting measures – and Fernley says the same thing might have to happen again.

“We only did the right things for Formula 1 when Honda and BMW pulled out and we entered the [economic] crisis, which then got some sensibility back,” Fernley told AUTOSPORT.

“Then we got some of the best racing we’ve had for some years as a result of that.

“I think the same thing has to happen again.

“Something major has to happen to bring people back to the table with a view to solving the problem as opposed to implementing their own programs of self-interest.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean that it could be one of the independent teams.

“If you look at the discussions that are going on at the moment with Red Bull, it could easily be at the other end of the table.

“There will be something that triggers the bringing back together of everyone to the table.

“Most important for the independent teams is to make sure that they are as competitive as possible and to survive until that process comes into place, then they can be part of the solution.

“Until we get to that I don’t think there will be any change.”


Meanwhile, Horner believes there can be change in F1, but it needs to be properly considered and will require all teams to make concessions to get a consensus.

“The reality is that whatever change we’re looking at, we’re looking at it for 2017,” he said.

“But it’s important that we get it right and it’s important that everybody recognises that we need to put on a better show and create a better product.

“We’re all probably going to have to give a bit to achieve that, and we can’t be precious about where we perceive our strengths or weaknesses may be.

“And I think it’s going to take all parties to give a bit to end up with a better product for everybody in the longer term.”