Former Force India F1 chief Robert Fernley has passed away at the age of 70-years; while McLaren has appealed Lando Norris’ penalty.
Robert Fernley –
Having started his career during the Can-Am days, Fernley made a full-fledged F1 run when he teamed up with Vijay Mallya to build Force India after the buyout from Spyker. He worked as the team’s deputy team principal, more or less managing everything.
Since Mallya had other things on his table, Fernley was de facto leader of Force India until the F1 team was sold to the consortium led by Lawrence Stroll. After nearly a decade with Force India, Fernley moved to McLaren in 2019 to lead its IndyCar project.
But after its failure with Fernando Alonso’s Indy500 bid, Fernely wasn’t retained and he replaced Stefano Domenicali as the head of the FIA Single-Seater Championship in 2020. He held the role until 2022 but wasn’t retained with Giancarlo Minardi replacing him.
Since his departure, Fernley found a foundation under his name which he has build to assist young engineering talent in partnership with the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering at the University of Bolton.
His former F1 team (and now) Aston Martin announced his death while not revealing the reason. From everyone at FormulaRapida.net, we pay our respects to Fernley and his family at the time of grief.
Today we sadly learnt of the passing of our friend and former colleague, Bob Fernley.
The thoughts of all of us are with his family and friends at this time. pic.twitter.com/bZoU8zWn0e
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) June 30, 2023
Weeks after the completing of F1 Canadian GP, McLaren has announced that it has lodged a petition for a ‘right of review’ against the penalty handed to Norris in Montreal. He was given a 5s time penalty for driving slowly under safety car to accommodate double stop.
The FIA noted it as unsportsmanlike behaviour from Norris which not only irked the driver but also his team. At the time of the decision, they did showed their displeasure and have subsequently requested a review after gathering enough evidence to show otherwise.
Further course from the FIA is awaited where the governing body now has to decide if the evidence is worthy enough to re-open the case. The 5s penalty cost Norris ninth place which dropped him outside the points in a tight midfield battle.
Here’s the note from McLaren –
“We can confirm that the McLaren Formula 1 Team has lodged a petition for a “right of review” regarding to Article 14.1.1 of the of the FIA International Sporting Code, on the Stewards’ decision to impose a 5-second penalty on Lando Norris for “unsportsmanlike behavior” under the Safety Car at the 2023 Canadian Grand Prix. We are very supportive of the FIA and the Stewards, and we trust them while they carry out what is a difficult job. We appreciate Stewards need to make decisions in a short timeframe, analyzing complex scenarios and often with partial information and multiple elements to consider.
“In Canada, we were surprised by the penalty and uncertain as to the rationale behind the decision. We spoke to the Stewards immediately after the race to help understand the reasoning for the penalty. The FIA’s regulatory framework has tools and processes which allow them and the sport to deal with the operational complexity of Formula 1, especially for decisions which need to be made during the race. The “right of review” is one of those processes which showcases the strength of the institution in allowing decisions to be reviewed, should that be in the best interest of the sport and this is something McLaren fully embraces and supports.
“Given this provision, the team took the initial explanation onboard and decided to review the case in a calm and considered manner, performing comprehensive due diligence, which included looking at the precedents. After this careful and extensive review, we believe enough evidence exists to a submit a “right to review” to the FIA, which we have done so. We will now continue to work with the FIA closely, in the same constructive and collaborative manner in which we normally do, and will accept the outcome of their deliberations and decision.”
Here’s Andrea Stella on McLaren updates
Here’s Andrea Stella on Williams, Alpine wobble
Here’s Esteban Ocon leading Lando Norris behind Alexander Albon