Williams, Force India deny claims they were represented

Ferrari team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has claimed that both Williams and Force India handed Mercedes a mandate to represent them at a team meeting on the Thursday of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Only four of the six Strategy Group teams attended the meeting in Montreal, with Red Bull, McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari discussing the future of the sport, including the possibility of 'franchise cars'.

Williams and Force India were not present at the meeting which prompted Arrivabene to suggest that their engine supplier Mercedes was doing so on their behalf.

"If you look at them [those at the meeting] they are the constructors, except Williams, but Williams gave a mandate to Mercedes," the Italian explained.

"We were talking about the mandate of the Strategy Group, more or less everything to make sure we find a way to speed up the process and a solution as soon as possible."

When questioned of Force India's absence, Arrivabene added: "They were informed by Mercedes, same story as Williams."

Speaking to Autosport, both Williams team Principal Claire Williams and Force India deputy team Principal Bob Fernley denied the claims made by Arrivabene.

"We weren't part of it, and Mercedes are not mandated to represent us," Williams claimed.

"That is not correct," Fernley added. "We have not given any mandate to Mercedes.

"What we did do at last month's Strategy Group meeting is say that fundamentally we're not in favour of customer cars.

"However, if the four manufacturing teams, plus Williams, want to go ahead with that process and investigate it then we're happy for them to present it to us when they've finished it."