The Force India Formula 1 team has moved to quash rumours that it has been sold.
Owned by Indian businessmen Vijay Mallya and Subrata Roy, the team’s future has been the subject of debate for some time.
Both Mallya and Roy face significant legal problems in India, with Mallya set to be extradited from England to face fraud charges later this year, and Roy having spent much of the last two years in prison on similar charges.
It has been suggested the team is therefore not only on the market, but has in fact been sold for a figure in the region of A$355million.
Unsubstantiated reports suggested that buyer was energy drink company Rich Energy, and another with Brabham Automotive.
It’s forced the team to issue a short statement in an effort to calm the waters before pre-season testing begins next week.
“Following recent media reports speculating on the sale of Force India Formula One Team Limited, the Company’s shareholders wish to clarify that there is no offer from potential investors under consideration,” the statement read.
The team offered no further comment when contacted by Speedcafe.com to confirm whether, despite the lack of ‘potential investors’, it was formally for sale and if that sale was voluntary or forced, given its owners’ predicament.
The link to Brabham is an enticing one, with David Brabham having issued a vague release announcing Brabham Automotive earlier this week.
No details of the company have been released, and a further announcement is not expected until May.
The lack of information surrounding the company has served only to fuel speculation which has ranged from a Brabham supercar, a new car company, and even an F1 team.
The Brabham name participated in the top flight of motor sport from 1962 until 1992 when it finally collapsed, winning two constructors’ and four drivers’ titles.
Force India meanwhile grew from the team which started life as Jordan in 1991, going through a number of name and ownership changes until settling in its current guise in 2008.
It’s finished fourth in the constructors’ title for the last two years, with its 2018 contender set to be unveiled in the Barcelona pit lane on Monday.