Perez action leads Force India into administration

Image by Dunbar/LAT

Perez action leads Force India into administration

Formula 1

Perez action leads Force India into administration

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Force India has been placed in administration following action triggered by Sergio Perez and supported by Mercedes.

The team entered administration following a High Court hearing on Friday, with Perez setting the legal action in motion over unpaid salary, while power unit supplier Mercedes is understood to be the largest external creditor. The BBC cites a note from team owner Vijay Mallya — who has been fighting extradition to India on fraud charges — as stating the team’s operating company is the largest creditor with over £159million ($208m) in debt owed to them.

“Our holding company will work with the administrator to take the team out of administration or sell the team at the best possible price,” Mallya wrote.

Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said on Friday he expected the team to receive fresh investment and be on a more sound financial footing in the coming weeks.

With there understood to be a number of parties interested in potentially purchasing the team, Force India will complete the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend as normal, with administrator FRP Advisory hopeful the team can continue operating without major change.

“We shall be engaging with key stakeholders on an urgent basis to secure the best outcome for creditors,” joint administrator Geoff Rowley said in a statement.

“In the meantime, the team will continue to operate as normal, including racing in Hungary this weekend.

“Our aim is for business as usual whilst we assess options to secure the future of the team.”

FRP Advisory also acted as administrators for Manor before the team folded at the start of 2017, with Esteban Ocon having previously driven for Manor the year before.

Ocon is poised for a move to Renault next year, and the change of status for Force India is likely to free the Frenchman to move despite his current team having had an option on him for 2019.

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