Robert Fernley leaves Force India Formula 1 team following the purchase of its assets by a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll. Fernley held the role of deputy team principal since the former Jordan, Midland and Spyker team rebranded under new ownership in 2008.
He was in charge of the team on race weekends when Mallya was not in attendance. He also dealt with matters related to the FIA and the F1 organisation.
Fernley was informed by Stroll last week that he would not be part of the revised team structure. Chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer is currently heading the management team.
Otmar Szafnauer, who is currently Chief Operating Officer, will take up the role of team principal.
Meanwhile the team may be in the process of changing its identity and in effect becoming a new entry. It’s not yet clear whether the paperwork will finish for this weekend’s Belgian GP. An announcement expected soon.
Force India entered administration last month ahead of the Hungarian GP but the deal by the consortium, which also includes Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman, John Idol, John McCaw Jr, Michael de Picciotto, and Silas Chou, didn’t go through. It;s because a consent from 13 Indian banks is required.
Stroll switched strategy and bought the assets of the team, which means the cars, the Silverstone factory, the equipment and everything required to go racing – except for the actual entry, which still in theory belongs to Force India, which remains in administration, but now has no physical assets.