Sahara Force India administration: ‘clear and secure future’ as F1 team heads for a planned restructuring
The team was listed for a Companies Court winding-up hearing at London’s High Court on Wednesday
Force India Formula One team is expected to go into administration within weeks as part of a planned restructuring process with new investment, the team’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said Friday.
The team, owned by Vijay Mallya, was listed for a Companies Court winding-up hearing at London’s High Court on Wednesday this week.
Szafnauer said another hearing was taking place Friday.
“Within a week, or at the most two, our financial future will become more clear and, I believe, much more secure,” Szafnauer told reporters at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Paddock observers believe that Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, the father of Williams’ teenager driver Lance Stroll, is set to buy the cash-strapped outfit with an investment package that will see his son move teams.
Szafnauer said: “I think it’s imminent. I know there’s discussions going on in the background. I’m not privy to those because it’s a shareholder issue and I’m not a shareholder.
Force India will keep running after being placed into administration. Team co-owner Vijay Mallya has told colleagues in a message that the action was instigated by Sergio Perez. Holding company is largest creditor with £159m+ outstanding. More, and story, soon
— Andrew Benson (@andrewbensonf1) July 28, 2018
“Otherwise I would know more, but it will be very soon. We are just in this critical period, which might last a week or two.
“We have to keep our heads down, do the best we can here, go enjoy – and after the test, enjoy our break and then come back fighting.
“Hopefully it will be solved soon and we’ll get back to operating in the normal manner that we are used to.”
If the rumours that Force India is set to go into administration are true, then the fact that the team that has finished fourth in the championship over the past two years and spends the least cannot survive shows what a ridiculous state #F1 is in.
— Craig Woollard (@Craig_Woollard) July 24, 2018
He added that administration may be one of two potential ways for the team to resolve its financial problems, described as “critical” on Thursday by Mexican driver Sergio Perez.
The team’s problems followed the collapse of owner and team principal Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines.
A group of Indian banks sought to recover more than $1 billion of loans, which led to attempts to extradite him from Britain to face fraud charges.
Stroll, on whom so much may depend, has made no comment.