The High Court in London has put Vijay Mallya-owned Force India Formula 1 team under an administrator. The order has reportedly come on an application moved for the Force India driver Sergio Perez.
Reports suggest that a company linked to Perez had moved the application to the appointment of an administrator at Force India for an unpaid debt of over $4 million.
Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley has confirmed to media that “an administrator has been appointed by the High Court in London for Force India F1 team” on Friday.
Force India has been faced with an acute financial threat. The team is put on sale and three buyers are in negotiations to acquire the team. The team COO Otmar Szafnauer has accepted that a new funding is “imminent” to keep the team running. He was, however, optimistic that the team will survive and emerge from the administration. ‘
Troubles are increasing for the team. While Perez is reported to be behind the appointment of the administrator, another driver Esteban Ocon is negotiating a transfer deal with Renault. For the time being Force India will continue to operate though.
RaceFans has reported that the Guernsey-based Brockstone, which is linked to Perez and his manager Julian Jakobi, had initiated legal proceedings which led to the appointment of the administrator.
Perez had earlier described Force India’s financial situation as “critical”. He stayed away from the scheduled media session at the Hungaroring.
RaceFans, citing court documents, has reported that “Force India is or is likely to become unable to pay its debt and its parent company are unlikely to be able to provide financial support”. The driver was seeking payment of over $4 million.
The application was also supported by the Daimler/Mercedes group, which Force India owes over $12.26 million (€10.5 million), and sponsors BWT.