Sahara Force India has been excluded from the Formula 1 World Championship and loses all its constructors’ points, but will race this weekend as ‘Racing Point Force India’ in the Belgian Grand Prix.
After entering administration during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, Sahara Force India was unable to be sold as a going concern due to a freezing injunction on assets belonging to former team owner Vijay Mallya. As a result, the administrator agreed a deal with a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll to transfer the assets to a new entrant, but that new entrant needed to be accepted by the FIA.
The governing body says it has been working closely with the administrator FRP Advisory, FOM and Racing Point UK Limited — Lawrence Stroll’s company — to ensure the successful transition of the assets and to protect the team’s employees, and has now accepted it as a new entrant into this year’s championship.
“Following a disciplinary investigation and prosecution by the FIA under Article 4 of the FIA’s Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, the Sahara Force India F1 Team has accepted its exclusion from the 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship with immediate effect, due to its incapacity to comply with Article 8.2 of the Sporting Regulations moving forward, and forfeits all Constructors Championship points under Article 6.2,” an FIA statement read.
Article 8.2 states: “[Entry] applications will include … an undertaking by the applicant to participate in every Event with the number of cars and drivers entered.”
With Sahara Force India no longer part of the championship, the FIA has accepted a mid-season entry from Racing Point Force India — essentially the same team — to race this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps and for the rest of the season.
“I am very pleased that a strong, positive outcome has been reached and welcome the mid-season entry of Racing Point Force India,” FIA president Jean Todt said. “Creating an environment of financial stability in Formula 1 is one of the key challenges faced by the sport; however thanks to the hard work of the FIA, the Joint Administrators, Racing Point and Formula One Management we have a situation now that safeguards the future for all of the highly-talented employees, and will maintain the fair and regulated championship competition for the second half of the season.”
F1 Chairman and CEO Chase Carey says the saving of the team was important for both the employees and the the sport itself.
“We are very pleased that the situation around Racing Point Force India has been resolved and that the team will continue to race in Formula 1,” Carey said. “It is also very gratifying that in partnership with the stakeholders involved we have been able to safeguard the livelihoods of the many hundreds of people working at its Silverstone base.
“It’s enormously important that we have a full grid of competitive, capable teams in Formula 1 and we are confident that Racing Point Force India will go from strength to strength in the future.”