Cape Town - Renault, McLaren and Williams reportedly wanted reassurances
from Force India that whoever the new owners are, they won't align themselves
as a Mercedes B-team.
Last week Force India was placed into administration after
several parties, including Sergio Perez, began proceedings over money owed to
Reports suggest there are several parties interested in
buying the team, however, they are facing a bit of opposition from Renault,
McLaren and Williams.
According to BBC Sport, the trio want 'reassurances before
they agree to conditions that would help a sale', one of which is that Force
India won't become a Mercedes B-team.
"That's not the type of F1 we like," said Renault
boss Cyril Abiteboul.
"We are a little bit afraid that such a construction
would make it impossible for anyone who is not enjoying the benefit of a master
team or slave team to be competitive at their own level.
"We start to see some glimpses of that today in certain
aspects of the grid or the development of the chassis or engine.
"We need to make sure it does not become a necessity,
otherwise our model does not work and our involvement can't be
The Frenchman wants reassurances from F1's owners Liberty
Media that this is not a path they wish to see Formula 1 follow.
"We will make sure that no job is under any threat,
that is very certain. But we just want to understand the vision of the
commercial rights holder in that respect.
"The only thing where we want to have a little bit of
clarity is we understand that there are right now a number of incentives for
large and smaller teams to get together and take advantage either of the
current regulations or future regulations."
Asked if Renault would block a Force India deal, Abiteboul
said: "The answer is no, because we want to save the jobs. But we want to
have the reassurance required before we have to vote that this will not be the
Renault's concerns stem from Haas close ties to Ferrari,
which have been questioned by rivals throughout this season, while Sauber are
also benefitting from their Alfa Romeo partnership.
However, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says he is not looking for
"We don't like the concept of B-teams in Formula
1," he told BBC Sports.
"We'd rather not have this structure because it
provides advantages to both teams, and competitive advantages, you could argue.
We are not buying Force India and we would rather not have the concept of a
"I understand there are questions from Cyril and others
over what is the future of F1 if big teams buy smaller teams, which I
completely respect. I completely share those thoughts and I don't think it is
the right way forward.
"I hope we can find a discussion so the scope of
co-operation is narrowed down between teams. There are commercial arrangements
that make sense, but there are downsides to it. And that is the competitive
order can change.
"So we need to find a solution to how the small teams
can benefit from shared infrastructure but at the same time not gain an
advantage that is currently possible.
"We have held discussions with every potential buyer to
my knowledge and the most important thing is someone with the right funds buys
the team. But we are not orchestrating it. It is in the hands of the
"It needs to be the best outcome for the creditors of
the team and that is to sell for the best financial outcome."