Force India F1 Team Placed Under Bankruptcy Administration

Running a Formula One team is no shoe-string affair. It requires money, and lots of it. More, it seems, than Force India has on hand.

According to the latest reports circling the paddock (like this one from Autosport), the Force India team has gone bankrupt and been placed under administration by a court in London.

Apparently the team has had trouble locating the financial resources to invest in essential mid-season updates to its cars, pay Mercedes for its engine package, or even compensate its driver Sergio Perez.

The development follows legal troubles suffered by the team’s owner Vijay Mallya, who is wanted in his home country for fraud and money laundering, and has placed himself on a self-imposed travel ban to prevent extradition. As the team has traveled to races around the world, Mallya has had to leave its operation to deputies.

The liquor/airline mogul and former parliamentarian bought the team in 2007 from Spyker. Before that it ran under the Midland flag after more than two decades as Jordan Grand Prix. The outfit has found more success in recent years as Force India than it did as Spyker or Midland, finishing the last two seasons at fourth place in the championship – but has yet to match the third place that Jordan finished in the 1999 world championship with Damon Hill and Heinz-Harald Frenzen behind the wheel.

Bankruptcy May Prove Temporary

Force India is not the first F1 team to go belly-up in recent years. Manor went bankrupt in 2016, Caterham in 2014, and HRT in 2012. None of those ended up being acquired and rebranded, but that doesn’t mean that Force India will disappear from the grid.

Among those who’ve been touted as potential buyers is billionaire Canadian fashion mogul Lawrence Stroll, who owns the Mont Tremblant circuit in his home Canadian province of Quebec, as well as a considerable collection of Ferraris. He’s also supported his son Lance’s ascent to Formula One, currently driving for Williams and winning the Italian F4 and European F3 championships along the way. If the elder Stroll does indeed end up acquiring (and likely renaming) the Force India team, nobody would be surprised to see his son sign with it for future seasons.

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  • Six_Tymes

    A shame, such a Good team lost because it needed backing to grow. I hate seeing this team go

    • Vassilis

      It won’t go. It looks like it was all planned in order to be purchased from a financially healthy company.

  • Well Bankruptcy is a strong word, in US law it would be Chapter 6 really. If it wasn’t Perez who make it public, the court would unlikely to do so, in the end it’s a good way since in my opinion the current management is bad.

    Also talk about prospective buyer, beside Lawrence Stroll, is British energy drink company called Rich Energy (Very subtle is it), in fact they have been offering a lot of money but Mallaya and his partner refuse to budge, another old rumor is Bernie return to F1 with Brabham name, I doubt it since Brabham trademark owner hardly had any money and Bernie isn’t exactly nostalgic guy who will use name for free, beside it is rumored that Bernie sign agreement to not participate in F1 beside his current ceremonial role.

    It could be a good way for Porsche to enter F1, but nothing is confirmed and even if they do they won’t do it until 2020/21, and the strong partner for them reportedly is Williams.

    • lotoco

      how about Aston Martin, they want to get back in, probably not until 2021, due to the current regulations, but, there are 2/ more licenses to be acquired, so no rush, VW/Porsche is another, I have no info as to whether or not FIA deleted those licenses

      • You must be missing the news, most team agree to stick into current F1 regulations beyond 2021, this and the fact that RB now choose Honda for engine effectively has canceled the whole AM F1 program, possibly with Cosworth, they will remained as RB main sponsors and technical partner however.

        • lotoco

          I guess I missed the part where most teams sticking to regulations beyond 2021, McLaren, Williams, Renault were the only ones mentioned, not comfortable, especially about Mercedes with force India. I am not familiar with rich energy, never heard of them, I look everywhere for info, guess not in the right places. What about cosworth?, did not know if they would be interested in f1, figured Andretti would be stretching himself out with all he is active in now, lot of media are mentioning Stroll as best to invest in force India, the way FIA has stuff set up, it tends to kill some teams, shame, they don’t have a lot of time to o.k. a new owner, do they ??, should know by SPA the rest of the story?. I have to do a better job of searching for info, hope I do better now.

    • lotoco

      also, Andretti, and 2 of his buds are interested, not sure if that will happen, Rich Energy has only been on the market for 2? years, would be risky for them to take it on

      • Andretti to F1 would be interesting, but he has other projects to take care of, F1 is known for killing many of great raceteam (TWR, Jordan and so son).

        Rich energy has money, that’s what matters most. I mean when Genii takeover Renault, no one doubted since they are financial investors with no history in motorsport.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Makes you wonder if Lawrence Stroll will buy the team and put Lance in a seat.

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