Formula 1: Renault, Williams, McLaren block F1 CEO’s bid to facilitate Force India sale

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Formula 1 chief executive Chase Carey had made an attempt to pave the way of smooth transfer of Force India, which has gone into administration on Friday last, to a new owner. But three other teams – Renault, Williams and McLaren – have blocked the bid.

Auto Motor und Sport’s Michael Schmidt had claimed that the proposed sale of Force India could be thwarted by the three rivals – Renault, Williams and McLaren.

Carey, aware that Force India will be on sale, has made an attempt to ensure that Force India could be allowed to continue under the new owner and a new name after the inevitable change of ownership. This could enable the team to get its share of TV revenue and prize money. Carey had sought an agreement to this effect from all the F1 teams. Schmidt has claimed that Renault, Williams and McLaren have blocked Carey’s initiative as all three declined to agree on F1 CEO’s proposal.

Under the prevailing F1 rules, the new owners will need to register with the Formula 1 outfit as a new team. This will decline them of all the Force India benefits – including the prize money and the TV revenues – and could potentially cause them a loss of nearly $150 million.

The Renault, Williams and McLaren stand has threatened the sale of Force India, which may result in 2019 season being contested between 9 teams and nearly 400 Force India employees losing their jobs.

According to Schmidt, it is not clear what exactly McLaren and Williams are aiming to gain from their stance. However, both the teams have admitted that they are anxiously waiting on Liberty Media’s proposed budget cap and redistribution of the prize fund. Renault, claims Schmidt, is seeking to send a clear message to F1 owners Liberty concerned at the power wielded by Mercedes and Ferrari, particularly with regard to their so-called B-teams.

Surprisingly, Gene Haas, whose team has been constantly criticised by Force India for its close ties with Ferrari was among the first to give his approval to Chase Carey.

Administrations proceedings have begun for the Silverstone-based outfit and should lead to a change of ownership of the beleaguered team.


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