Force India is set for an ownership change in the coming weeks after a court appearance regarding the winding up of the company.
The ‘Companies Court Winding Up List’ in the United Kingdom shows Force India Formula One Team Limited listed on Wednesday July 25, amid continued speculation that the team will enter administration before being taken over by new ownership. With team owner Vijay Mallya facing a number of financial concerns in his native India, chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer admits the recent constraints have hurt the team but is confident its ownership situation will be resolved in the coming weeks.
“There is a high correlation between critical financial situation and the sporting situation,” Szafnauer said. “The more money you have in this game, usually the better you do. But hopefully that will be solved soon and we’ll get back to operating in the normal manner that we are used to.
“We are just in this critical period, which might last a week or two; we have to keep our heads down, do the best we can here, after the test enjoy our break and then come back fighting thereafter.
“I think [fresh investment] is imminent. I know there’s discussions going on in the background. I’m not privy to those because it’s a shareholder issue and I’m not a shareholder, otherwise I would know more. But it will be very soon.”
Lance Stroll’s father Lawrence has been linked with investment into the team — which has finished fourth in the constructors’ championship in each of the last two years — but Szafnauer says the uncertainty over the team’s financial future will not distract from its on-track performance.
“We’re used to operating under such constraints. I think the situation’s critical because the midfield’s gotten very competitive. Where last year probably at this time we enjoyed a bit of a gap to our midfield competitors, that doesn’t exist anymore and, depending on what racetrack we go to, some of our competitors are a bit quicker than we are, and at other ones we are a bit quicker than they are.
“So, it’s going to be a big fight in the midfield. If you have financial constraints – which I believe our constraints are greater than some of our midfield competitors – it makes it harder. But we’re here to do the best we can and we’ll continue to push and try to get two points finishes and we’re still focussing on getting fourth again.”