Sports

Force India F1 team enters bankruptcy protection

Force India F1 team enters bankruptcy protection

"Therefore I was asked to save the team, to pull the trigger and put the team into administration".

The efforts of Force India administrator FRP Advisory to sell the team in the coming days could be compromised by opposition from three rivals.

The administration was triggered by Force India's Mexican driver Sergio Perez, supported by engine provider Mercedes and team sponsor BWT who were also owed money by a team struggling financially. However, the long term future of the team will depend on a new buyer that can save Force India from winding up operations.

The team's deputy principal Bob Fernley made this clear when drivers Esteban Ocon and Perez qualified 18th and 19th for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

"Over the past few years the team has been an incredible example of what can be done with limited resources, showing that what you do and how you do it is much more important than the size of your budget", said sporting boss Ross Brawn.

After a meeting in Budapest last weekend about Force India's situation McLaren, Renault and Williams all decided not to sign an agreement, at least for the time being, despite some urgent canvassing from F1 CEO Chase Carey on Force India's behalf.

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Formula 1 owner Liberty Media, however, is vowing to help.

The team's performance in the World Constructors' Championship has seen improvement since the 2008 season. Moreover, without the approval of all teams, Force India won't eligible for the bulk of its prize money until 2020, which runs into millions of dollars.

Vijay Mallya founded the team in 2008 and they've enjoyed moderate success since, finishing fourth in both of the previous two seasons. This despite having one of the smallest budgets compared to other teams.

Mallya has a 42.5 percent stake in the Silverstone-based team, with a similar shareholding in the hands of the Indian Sahara Group and the remainder owned by Dutch businessman Michiel Mol.

Force India has finished fourth in the constructors' standings for the last two years and is now sixth in this year's standings.


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