Force India assesses future options after being placed into administration, Vijay Mallya ‘devastated’

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New Delhi | Updated: Jul 31, 2018 11:01 AM

The administrators of Force India said that the team is assessing its future options after being placed into administration after a High Court hearing in London on Friday. The team, owned by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, said that it would continue to operate as normal.

vijay mallya, force india, force india mallya, force india vijay mallya, force india placed into administration, vijay mallya company, sports newsforce India have finished on the fourth spot in the championship for the last two years and are currently fifth in a tight midfield battle. (Source: Reuters)

The administrators of Force India said that the team is assessing its future options after being placed into administration after a High Court hearing in London on Friday. The team, owned by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, said that it would continue to operate as normal. “We shall be engaging with key stakeholders on an urgent basis to secure the best outcome for creditors,” said the joint administrator Geoff Rowley in a statement issued by FRP Advisory. “In the meantime, the team will continue to operate as normal, including racing in Hungary this weekend.”

Force India have finished on the fourth spot in the championship for the last two years and are currently fifth in a tight midfield battle. Its drivers are – Mexican Sergio Perez and Frenchman Esteban Ocon, who is backed by engine provider Mercedes. After the latest judgement by the High Court, Ocon, who is being linked to a move to Renault, is a free agent under the terms of the administration.

The legal action was triggered by Perez, supported by Mercedes and sponsor BWT who are all owed millions by the Silverstone-based team. Perez’s legal team claimed Force India “is or is likely to become unable to pay its debt” and its parent company “are unlikely to be able to provide financial support.”

Meanwhile, Vijay Mallya said that he is ‘devastated’ to have lost control of the Force India Formula One team but according to his right-hand man Bob Fernley, he will have a say in what happens next. “I don’t know. I think there’s more to come yet,” he said in an interview at Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix when asked whether Mallya’s Formula One adventure had reached the end of the road.

Mallya has a 42.5 percent stake in the Silverstone-based team while a similar shareholding is in the hands of the Indian Sahara Group and the remainder owned by Dutch businessman Michiel Mol. “The team means a huge amount to him and he’s devastated with the situation as it is at the moment. But as the major creditor he hopefully can make sure it is in the right hands going forward to go on to better things,” Fernley added.

The Briton said that the winding-up order had been brought by the British tax authorities but was not as critical as had been made out, while acknowledging that it would only have been a deferral with another creditor ready to step in.

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