Force India’s financial problems deepen

Sergio Perez

The financial problems facing Force India have deepened with revelations that on Wednesday the team was in court to respond to a winding up petition.

A winding up petition essentially places the team into administration, though allows the it to continue trading.

It could however see an official appointed to liquidate some of its assets in order to pay its debts.

Reports have suggested the team owes nearly $16million to the Daimler/Mercedes group, which supplies the team with engines, and $5.3million to a company linked to Sergio Perez.

Sponsor BWT was also part of the winding up application submitted to the court, claiming its sponsorship deal was actually a loan.

Force India has faced a host of financial problems in recent months on the back of squad’s billionaire owners Vijay Mallya and Subrata Roy facing their own legal troubles.

Despite the most recent developments, Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer is optimistic it will meet with a positive resolution.

“Within a week or at the most two, our financial future will become more clear and I believe much more secure,” Szafnauer said.

Lawrence Stroll, the billionaire father of Williams driver Lance Stroll, has been suggested as a potential new owner for the squad.

Fresh investment from Stroll would lift the current financial burden, though Szafnauer claimed whatever happened the team would continue.

“Whichever route it is, I think the team will be fine. More than fine, actually,” he said.

Force India has finished fourth in the constructors’ championship for the last two seasons, but has slipped to fifth so far in 2018.

It’s currently tied on points with Haas, which has shown an upturn in performance in recent races that has matched Force India’s own downturn.

“There is a high correlation between critical financial situation and the sporting situation,” admitted Szafnauer.

“The more money you have in this game, usually the better you do.

“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, go enjoy, after the test, enjoy our break and then come back fighting thereafter.”

Force India is due back in court next Friday for another hearing relating to the winding up proceedings.

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