Fernley has long been associated with Dr. Vijay Mallya and held the role of deputy team principal. He was in charge of the team on race weekends when Mallya was not in attendance. The latter has been unable to leave the UK for the last couple of years owing to his financial struggles.
He also dealt with matters related to the FIA and the F1 organisation. Fernley was informed by Stroll Sr. last week that he would not be part of the revised organisation. As of now, Chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer is currently heading the management team.
Due to the takeover by Stroll’s consortium, the team is undergoing an identity change. This will likely classify them as a new entry. However, it is unclear whether the paperwork will be completed in time for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
An announcement on Fernley’s future is expected soon, either before, during or after the Belgian GP weekend.
As it turned out, Fernley vacated his position on mutual consent. For this weekend, the Silverstone-based outfit arrived at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps without the Force India name.
This could likely herald a name change for the team for the remainder of the season. Admittedly, the Indian presence began to decline once Mallya and co-owner Subrata Roy had their financial issues.
While Roy was imprisoned, Mallya is currently stranded in the UK, unable to set foot on Indian soil. If he did so, he too, would be arrested and imprisoned for tax evasion. Meanwhile, the future of the team remains uncertain, with regard to their identity.