Boss defends Force India after number breach

May 17 (GMM) Sporting boss Otmar Szafnauer has defended Force India, after the team was pulled up for not complying with new rules in Barcelona.

To help the fans in the grandstands and the TV audience, F1 told teams they must fit bigger numbers and the drivers’ abbreviated names on their cars from Spain.

But Force India argued that because of their sponsor deals with BWT and NEC, adding ‘OCO’ and ‘PER’ to their cars would be confusing.

However, it was the location of the bigger race numbers on the pink cars that actually broke the rules last weekend.

Team manager Andy Stevenson told Auto Motor und Sport: “When I stand in front of the car, I can read the number perfectly. From the grandstand too.

“From lower down it is not visible but there is nothing in the rules about that. There are perspectives with every car on which the number is not visible,” he said.

Sporting boss Szafnauer said the entire issue is triggered by commercial considerations for the small, overachieving Silverstone based team.

“As you know, Force India does well on the track but is not as strong in the commercial area, which is related to the way revenues are distributed in formula one,” he said.

“But the approach of the commercial rights holders is what it is, so we have to maximise the way we work with sponsors. To do this, we need to make optimal use of the space on the car.

“Personally, I think we could come up with a better way to distinguish the cars on the track,” Szafnauer added.

Force India’s EUR 25,000 fine was suspended.

Related News

  • 28/04/2017 Force India unhappy with driver names on cars Apr.28 (GMM) Force India has bemoaned the cost of a new rule designed to help fans identify their favourite drivers. At the recent Strategy Group meeting, it was decided that from […]
  • 21/07/2016 Latest radio rules divide F1 paddock Jul.21 (GMM) The F1 paddock remains split on the issue of radio restrictions, as the FIA further tightened the rules ahead of the Hungarian grand prix. In a shock move following recent […]
  • 03/03/2017 Force India livery could turn pink Mar.3 (GMM) Force India's livery could soon turn pink, according to a German source. The specialist publication Auto Bild claims the Silverstone based team is in talks with BWT, an […]
  • 23/06/2016 Teams open to selling Perez, Sainz to Ferrari Jun.23 (GMM) The respective bosses of the two drivers most strongly linked with a move to Ferrari say they are open to talking with the Italian team about a buyout. Sergio Perez and […]
  • 20/01/2015 Force India will not test 2015 car at Jerez Jan.20 (GMM) Force India may be the first team to 'launch' in 2015, but it will also be the last new car to actually hit the official test tracks. The Silverstone based team is preparing […]
  • 24/09/2015 Teams still arguing over Pirelli tyre test Sep.24 (GMM) F1 teams are reportedly still arguing over whether Pirelli's new 'ultra soft' compound for the 2016 season will be tested in Abu Dhabi after the November season finale. Paul […]
  • 06/04/2017 Force India among slowest in 2017 – Perez Apr.6 (GMM) Sergio Perez has admitted Force India's 2017 car is currently among the very slowest on the grid. With its small budget, the lean and mean Silverstone based team finished an […]
  • 15/06/2017 Force India considers name change – report Jun.15 (GMM) Team co-owner and boss Vijay Mallya is considering changing Force India's name. The former billionaire, who is currently locked in a high profile legal battle with Indian […]
  • 05/06/2017 Less extreme ‘T-wings’ from now – Force India Jun.5 (GMM) The 'T-wing' craze stepped into a higher gear recently in Monaco. Although the unpopular, TV antennae-style airbox wings have been banned for 2018, the cars turned out for […]
  • 15/03/2017 Pink livery worth $20m to Force India – report Mar.15 (GMM) Force India's new pink livery has cost an incoming sponsor up to $20 million for the 2017 season. That is the claim of the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, following news […]