Stroll-backed consortium saves Force India F1 team

The administrators for the Force India Formula 1 team have accepted a bid led by Lawrence Stroll

Stroll-backed consortium saves Force India F1 team

Force India has been in administration since the Friday before the Hungarian Grand Prix in a bid to protect it against the threat of a winding-up order over mounting debts.

It was confirmed on Tuesday evening that a consortium, led by Stroll, had been assembled with the assistance of Force India's chief operations officer Otmar Szafnauer and the team's senior management.

A deal has been agreed with the joint administrators, appointed by FRP Advisory, to return the team to solvency.

Stroll's fellow investors are 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.

Force India's creditors will be paid in full, all 405 jobs at the team have been saved and ongoing funding has been guaranteed.

The new set-up, which signed an exclusivity agreement on Tuesday, takes over ownership of the team from Vijay Mallya and Orange India Holdings Sarl.

"This outcome secures the future of the Force India team in Formula 1 and will allow our team of racers to compete to our full potential," said Szafnauer.

"I am delighted that we have the support of a consortium of investors who believe in us as a team and who see the considerable business potential that Force India has within F1 now and in the future.

"At Force India, our expertise and commitment has meant that we have always punched above our weight and this new investment ensures that we have a bright future ahead of us.

"I also would like to thank Vijay, the Sahara Group and the Mol family for all of their support and taking the team as far as their circumstances would allow."

Stroll had been linked with investing in Force India for some time and its need for a new owner presented an opportunity to become more directly involved.

He has been backing Williams through support for his son Lance, who has driven for the British team since making his F1 debut last season.

Several other parties had expressed interest, including two US consortiums and a British firm.

"It is rare that a company can be rescued and returned to a position of solvency," said joint administrator Geoff Rowley.

"The quality of the various interested parties has been impressive and required careful consideration as the administration has progressed.

"Having followed a robust process, in the end we were left with a highly-credible offer to save the company and restore solvency.

"Funding to support the team will be made available from today, and significantly more will be available once the company emerges from administration which we expect within the next two to three weeks."

Now that a bid has been accepted the administrator will look to confirm finer details, including finalising the agreement to buy the team and agree elements like the contract to use Mercedes engines transferring to the new company.

The team has owed money to several creditors, notably Mercedes and driver Sergio Perez, who used the money he was owed to trigger the action that led to it being put into administration at the request of senior members of the team.

It needs the change of ownership to be completed so it can commission suppliers to produce upgraded parts, which will be crucial in Force India's championship battle.

The team is currently sixth in the constructors' contest, seven points behind Haas and 23 behind fourth-placed Renault.

shares
comments
Gasly: Honda F1 engine driveability more consistent than '17 Renault

Previous article

Gasly: Honda F1 engine driveability more consistent than '17 Renault

Next article

Formula 1: Force India feared Caterham/Manor fate

Formula 1: Force India feared Caterham/Manor fate
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lance Stroll
Teams Force India
Author Scott Mitchell
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
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021