What is going in with Force India? We know the team is financially struggling and that the team is looking for a buyer, of course they still say this is false. Currently the rumours getting stronger of companies interested in buying Force India. Could it be that next year FI will be Andretti Autosport?
End 2007 Indian multinational Vijay Mallya bought the bankrupted Spyker Formula One Team. A year before Spyker under the lead of Victor Muller bought the struggling team Midland F1 racing from Colin Kolles, on their term their bought the once notorious Jordan Grand Prix from Eddie Jordan. So far the history.
Since their debut, Force India could count on lots of support from the Fans and from investors. The last two season Force India showed their real potential by ending up as fourth in the championship. You would say the future for the team is great… indeed you would say so. It is far from.
It’s well known that Vijay Mallya has some issues with the tax authorities in India. He has to pay millions for his companies that went bankrupt already. There is a reason why the authorities in India asked for his extradition the last years. These personal issues shouldn’t affect the team, however at least one of these companies were related to Force India as sponsor.
Last year in November, it became clear that the team was in financial troubles, and were looking for new sponsors and investors to add money in the team. However, due Mallya’s issues the sponsors did not dare to invest in the team. Why would you invest in a team, with a team principal that’s corrupt? Because of this, the team is not able to develop the VJM11 properly as seen in the results this year.
What many people forgot is the fact that Force India asked the FIA for a deposit on the price money. The FIA did not grant the request due Renault. The team did not agree because of the team principal that created the financial struggle for the team. Even the team did not receive the deposit; it entered the new season in full confidence.
In April Rich Energy announced their interest in the team. It has been rumoured that Rich Energy offered the team 200million dollars for the team’s take over. The take-over never happened. In addition, Force India kept on telling that they were in contact with several potential sponsors. Of course there haven’t been new sponsors expect for some small once.
The last few weeks the rumours went crazy. First of all the news appeared recently, that Force India asked for a loan by Liberty Media for several millions to be able to stay on the grid. The team denies it asked for a loan but several media outlets say it happened. Besides, this Mercedes is rumoured multiple time for a take-over of the Force India team. Are they interested to create a Mercedes B team? As RedBull Racing does with Toro Rosso? As Ferrari it once planned in the 1990s with Sauber?
BWT, currently one of the main sponsors of the team, is interested in taking over the team.
However, the rumoured that appeared recently after the Grand Prix in Montreal is more likely to happen, or let’s say more solid to believe in. Andretti Autosport is interested in a take-over of the team. At least if we have to believe the rumours and Joe Saward’s column for Motorsportweek.
Michael Andretti happened to be in the paddock during the Canadian Grand Prix, and it has been said that he and several members of the Andretti Motorsport company were seen a couple of times in an around the pit complex of Force India. Did it really happen? Well I wouldn’t mind to see Andretti in the Formula One, only this time as a Formula One Team. The rumours of Andretti Motorsport bringing it’s team to the Formula One. Surely the story will be continued!