How administration will help the Force India Formula 1 team

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley believes that the administration process will have a positive outcome because a suitable buyer can invest in the Formula 1 team's future

How administration will help the Force India Formula 1 team

After Friday evening's High Court decision in London, administrator Geoff Rowley and his firm FRP Advisory are now running the team using independently sourced funds that are sufficient, for example, to allow it to pay staff salaries next week.

Administration is viewed positively within the Force India camp because it allows FRP Advisory to properly assess potential buyers, with more than one candidate having been in discussions in recent weeks.

Team principal and main shareholder Dr Vijay Mallya was reluctant to sell unless the terms suited him and there was a risk that the ideal buyer would walk away, but now the final decision on selling is out of his hands.

"The company is now in administration and the administrator will be looking at potential buyers," Fernley told Autosport.

"And hopefully one of those buyers will be able to fulfil the ambitions of the team, which is to take it from where it is today, which I think is a podium-opportunity team, into a podium-on-merit team.

"Interested buyers will lodge their interest with FRP, and FRP will now evaluate the business case for any of the potential buyers.

"From that I'm sure there will be a process which will involve Mercedes and F1 Group to determine the most appropriate buyer for Force India.

"The decision now is FRP's in terms of who is selected, but I think there are a number of quality investor groups that are willing to come in and take this team to the next level, and the team deserves it."

It is no coincidence that the legal process was launched just before the summer break, as running costs will be lower than if Force India was in full operating mode and travelling to races.

"There has to be investment in the team," said Fernley. "The team is now basically hitting the buffers in terms of its assets that it has today.

"In order to go forward to become a team of podium merit, then it also has to have investment, and it is what will be required as part of the process of looking at the new owners."

Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer addressed team members in the Hungaroring pit garage on Saturday morning, explaining that the situation was in hand.

Szafnauer was joined by F1 CEO Chase Carey, who stressed he is keen to see the team on the grid next year.

Fernley said Force India had "achieved tremendous things" and could go on to "achieve greater things" with the right investment and support from engine supplier Mercedes, sponsor BWT and F1 through this process.

He added: "And with FRP and Geoff Rowley at the helm, who have tremendous experience in F1, unfortunate as the circumstances are I don't think it could be in a better position to take the next steps."

The team is due substantial payments from F1 based on finishing fourth in the constructors' championship in 2016 and '17, and with Force India still in business those will continue to come through on schedule.

"As long as we are running as the entity that we are today, we have not got a cessation of trade," said Fernley.

"We are continuing our operations as normal. F1 has an obligation to pay us the prize fund, and that will carry on as normal."

shares
comments
Hungarian GP: Vettel fastest for Ferrari, both Mercedes spin

Previous article

Hungarian GP: Vettel fastest for Ferrari, both Mercedes spin

Next article

Force India Formula 1 team has no animosity towards Sergio Perez

Force India Formula 1 team has no animosity towards Sergio Perez
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Force India
Author Adam Cooper
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…

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
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021