January 17, 2013

F1 news: Force India on the verge of collapse?

Paul di Resta, Brazil 2012

Force India in crisis.  According to some, the English team is on the verge of total collapse.
Vijay Mallya, the team principal who in 2007 bought the dutch Spyker, has run into serious financial difficulties with his companies and cannot support his team any longer.    According to OneIndia, Mallya's airline, Kingfisher, is in dire straights having failed to meet yet another reorganization plan demanded by Indian Civil Aviation authorities.  Other businesses Mallya is involved in, United Spirits and Diageo (owners of the Johnny Walker brand among many others) are also in some trouble.

VJ Mallya
Losing another team after the demise of HRT would be disastrous so Bernie Ecclestone  is said to have activated a plan to rescue the team, or at least the entry for 2013.

In 2005, Ecclestone was instrumental in keeping what was Jordan in F1 when it got into trouble.   At the end of that season, Jordan, the team where Schumacher started his F1 career, was bought by Midland, owned by the Russian-Canadian Alex Shnaider.  Shnaider only lasted one year before giving up and selling the spot to Spyker's Michael Mol.  A failure as well,  the team was bought by Mallya at the end on 2007.   Mallya had ample pockets and this gave the team some stability but in the past few months this has all changed.

There is talk of a possible return of Colin Kolles, dentist and manager trusted by Ecclestone who was already involved in  operations at Jordan and HRT.   Another name floating about is that of Flavio Briatore.

Paul di Resta,  confirmed for 2013 has been telling the press he could not explain why it was taking so long for the team to name a second driver.  That second seat at Force India, or whatever it will be called if Ecclestone's operations are successful, will certainly be sold at a very high price, possibly as an expensive training spot for Ferrari's Jules Bianchi?

(via Massimo Costa/ItaliaRacing)

UPDATE:  Plot thickens, in essence from the german text, team spokesman predictably denies but evidence exists of a deal to sell the team....


  1. I've read the big gamble facing VJ is Mercedes vs. Ferrari power in 2014...

    But in light of your genuinely excellent investigative reporting, Ferrari may be his only option.

    Should we start hypothesizing who might buy the team? Is it too late for that? Could someone like ProDrive pick up the pieces in time for Melbourne?

    1. What you are most likely to see, I would guess, would be FI on the grid after much maneuvering happened behind the scenes. I certainly would look ver bad for F1 to have another team (and a higher profile one) drop out so my guess, denials all around, orders going out to "real" journalist not to discuss.

  2. this may be obvious for many people, but why does it cost so much to have/maintain a F1 team? Seems like a easy fix. Lower Costs = More Teams. They are in the process of making a budget cap correct? or has that already been in-forced?


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