Formula 1: Force India feared Caterham/Manor fate

Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer says the rescued Formula 1 team feared it would suffer the same demise as Caterham and Manor after falling into administration

Formula 1: Force India feared Caterham/Manor fate

The Silverstone-based Force India team's salvation was revealed on Tuesday after its administrators agreed a deal with a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll, father of current Williams F1 driver Lance.

That means the team has been returned to solvency, with all 405 jobs saved and "significant" funding guaranteed, plus a commitment to pay its creditors in full.

When Caterham and Marussia went into administration at the end of 2014, only Marussia continued, having gained fresh investment under the Manor name. However, it was placed in administration again at the end of 2016 and then collapsed for good.

"Once we went into administration, there were a couple that have been there and didn't come out," Szafnauer told Autosport. "So, there is a lot of trepidation amongst all the team members, and a lot of anxiety, because we didn't know where it was going to go.

"It's a huge relief to know there's a future for the team. We'll be able to continue as a normal Formula 1 team."

Szafnauer played a key role in helping the administrators find the investors, with Stroll's consortium comprising Canadian entrepreneur Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of Monaco Sports and Management, fashion business leader John Idol, telecommunications investor John McCaw Jr, financial expert Michael de Picciotto, and Stroll's business partner Silas Chou.

The new owners' plan regarding senior team personnel is unknown.

Vijay Mallya, co-owner of the team for the last 11 years, had been its official team principal, with Bob Fernley acting as his deputy.

Szafnauer said he did not know if he and Fernley would retain their positions.

"It's early days," Szafnauer said. "I would hope they would keep the senior management on. This just happened, I haven't sat down with the new owners to say 'what do you want to do?'."

Stroll has been helping bankroll Williams recently, and his son Lance made his grand prix debut with the team in 2017.

The younger Stroll is now expected to switch to Force India, which is likely to pursue a name change for 2019 now it is not under Vijay Mallya's control.

Szafnauer said that situation was currently as uncertain as the one facing the team's senior personnel.

"In the near future, we'll have all those conversations," he said. "But that's looking forwards, not looking backwards."

shares
comments
Stroll-backed consortium saves Force India F1 team

Previous article

Stroll-backed consortium saves Force India F1 team

Next article

Force India targets immediate F1 updates after Stroll-led rescue

Force India targets immediate F1 updates after Stroll-led rescue
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Manor Racing , Force India , Caterham F1
Author Scott Mitchell
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021