London: The future of the Force India Formula One team was secured on Wednesday after its administrator accepted a bid backed by a consortium of investors, effectively ending Vijay Mallya’s 10-year-old reign at the midfield squad.
The team was put into administration ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix last month following the legal action taken by its Mexican driver Sergio Perez.
According to a statement issued on behalf of administrator Geoff Rowley, all 405 jobs at Force India will be saved following a deal with the team management, joint administrators and consortium of investors led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who happens to be the father of Williams driver Lance Stroll.
Commenting on the deal, Force India Chief Operations Officer Otmar Szafnauer said: “This outcome secures the future of the Force India team in Formula 1 and will allow our team of racers to compete to our full potential. I am delighted that we have the support of a consortium of investors who believe in us as a team and who see the considerable business potential that Force India has within F1 now and in the future.”
He also acknowledged Mallya’s contribution in the success of the team.
“At Force India, our expertise and commitment has meant that we have always punched above our weight and this new investment ensures that we have a bright future ahead of us. I also would like to thank Vijay, the Sahara Group and the Mol family for all of their support and taking the team as far as their circumstances would allow,” added Szafnauer.
Mallya and Sahara had a 42.5 per cent stake each in Force India while Mol Family owned 15 per cent.
India is currently seeking Mallya’s extradition from the UK over unpaid loans linked to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Since their first season in 2008, Force India have gone on to become a strong midfield team, finishing fourth in the past two seasons