Fernley welcomes reality check

Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley has welcomed Christian Horner “to the real world” following the Red Bull boss’ demands for change in Formula One.

After four years of success from 2010 to 2013, Red Bull were toppled from F1’s summit last season by Mercedes, who appear set to dominate the new campaign in light of Sunday’s crushing one-two in the opening race in Australia.

Fearing a boring season and fans turning away, Horner believes the FIA has scope within the regulations to equalise matters.

Red Bull’s problem is that power-unit supplier Renault have failed to do as good a job as Mercedes, in particular over the winter as the French manufacturer has taken what Horner has described as “a retrograde step”.

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff went so far as to suggest to Horner to take his complaints to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem.

Fernley, who has bemoaned the imbalance in F1 for some time, told Press Association Sport: “It’s a shame it’s taken him (Horner) so long to work it out!

“I’ve no sympathy for where he is because how long have we been saying there are issues? It is one that has been progressively growing worse and we identified 18 months ago.

“The four big teams, including Red Bull, were adamant nothing needed to be done, and now Red Bull are getting squeezed a bit, and probably coming under pressure from their owners.

“Even at the last F1 Commission meeting they were not prepared to yield anything, and that was only a month ago.

“The reality is now setting in – welcome to the real world.

“They’ve needed to wake up, and maybe Christian has now woken up because this problem has been there for some time, it’s not new.”

Fernley, however, does not feel changes will be made until the sport “goes into complete crisis”.

He added: “We have to keep plugging away, we’ve programmes we’re working on, and hopefully common sense will prevail at some point.

“But you can’t blame Mercedes for doing a good job. Everybody else has the same opportunity.

“Clearly Ferrari stepped up their game over the winter.

“With Red Bull is it entirely Renault? Their ‘sister’ car (Toro Rosso) performed reasonably well and with two young guys in the car.

“You look at Sauber (who have a Ferrari power unit), even they were a better car on the day than Red Bull, so it cannot all be engine related.”

Published: Tuesday 17th March 2015 by The News Editor

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