Mallya wants FOTA suspension reversed

Vijay Mallya has asked the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) to reconsider his team's suspension from the organization, following its decision to lodge an unconditional entry to next year's championship

Mallya wants FOTA suspension reversed

Force India was officially informed by FOTA on Sunday night that it had been suspended alongside Williams for breaking away from the block conditional entries lodged by the other eight teams.

However, following discussions between Mallya and FOTA vice-chairman John Howett in Turkey on Sunday night, it was made clear that he wanted to fight the suspension.

Howett said: "I spoke to Dr Mallya. I expressed the view of the, if you like, the other FOTA members.

"He was very firm in his total commitment for FOTA and basically asked us to reconsider the suspension because he wants to remain a fully committed member of FOTA. So I need to clarify that; it's not my unique position to decide. So I will convey his points to the other team members."

Mallya made it clear that he had no choice but to lodge an unconditional entry because of banking covenants.

"I have only been told by John [Howett], who is vice-chairman of FOTA executive committee, today for the very first time that the executive committee, when they had a teleconference call last week, that they decided to suspend us when we changed our entry to an unconditional entry.

"All I said to John was, the circumstances of Force India are quite different to the circumstances of Williams - first and foremost I was completely transparent with FOTA and gave them copies of correspondence with my bankers and lawyers.

"Basically F1, like in the case of any other business, relies on its bankers to provide ongoing capital support. As you would in any business, you go to the bank and demonstrate sources of income, the sources of income are from sponsorship and the disbursement of revenue from FOM arising out of the television income that you are fully aware of.

"Both these sources of income, which are sources of comfort for banks to lend money, would have been under threat if our entry was not accepted. So therefore we were legally advised that Force India might breach our banking covenants if we went down the route of a conditional entry and did not lodge an unconditional entry as always. All of this was completely shared with FOTA."

Mallya said it was too early to judge if his request to get back in FOTA would be accepted.

"If they appreciate it, well and good, if they don't appreciate it then why should I lose sleep over it? I am doing what is good for Force India, first because I have a duty to comply with my legal obligations, I have a duty to the team and the company, and at the end of the day if it stops racing there is no business.

"Under the circumstances I had to do what I did. If FOTA membership cannot accept it then there is little I can do about it. Life goes on."

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