A senior Force India team member has lashed out at Formula 1’s owner CVC, accusing the private equity firm of not being interested in developing the sport and in fact milking it for profit.
The financial news agency Bloomberg quoted deputy team boss Bob Fernley as saying new deals that give more money and power to the bigger teams are a “disaster”.
“CVC is not interested in developing the sport, it’s interested in making as much money as possible and then selling it,” he said. “The income split doesn’t support Formula 1.”
Many of Formula 1’s smallest teams are struggling, and former Renault boss Flavio Briatore told Sky Italia this week: “I can’t understand why none of the team bosses are saying anything”.
Spanish backmarker HRT folded over the winter, the woes of Force India’s owners Vijay Mallya and Sahara are making headlines, and Marussia and Caterham have had to dump their number 1s in order to sign ‘pay drivers’ in 2013.
Still referring to CVC, Fernley continued: “You need to have an investor who gets a good return but one that also has an interest” in Formula 1. CVC has milked it and anyone investing in it should be looking very closely at what they’re getting.”
However, former Minardi owner and boss Paul Stoddart has warned that equality up and down pitlane is “a lovely dream but it isn’t going to happen”.
In fact, he said a team like Force India gets about $35 million per year in income from CVC, insisting: “I would have crawled over hot coals to get” that.”