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Force India placed into administration with debts of £159m

Force India has gone into administration after a hearing at the High Court in London on Friday. The Anglo Indian team has been in financial difficulties for a number of months but will operate normally until a buyer is found.

Earlier this week, the team’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer admitted that the team may need to go into administration to resolve its future.

Vijay Mallya said the team’s operating company was the largest creditor, with debts owing of more than £159m. He said he would work to secure the team’s future with the administrator. The action was brought by driver Sergio Perez.

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

He added that both he and deputy team principal Bob Fernley remained in their positions.

On Friday, the team admitted that they faced a “critical period” as financial problems threatened the team. The largest external creditor is Mercedes, with about £10m worth of engine bills unpaid.

Also, some of the issues are from Mallya who is fighting extradition to India on fraud charges, which he denies. He cannot travel from his base in the UK as a result but Fernley is expected to be at Hungaroring.

The administrator FRP Advisory, who were previously involved in the collapse of Manor in 2016. The administrators, Geoff Rowley and James Baker of FRP Advisory LLP, have some knowledge of F1, as the former was previously involved in the Marussia/Manor cases.

Rowley said “We shall be engaging with key stakeholders on an urgent basis to secure the best outcome for creditors 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.”

Sky Sports says it understands there are five potential bidders interested in a takeover of the team, including Lawrence Stroll, who could, therefore, bring son Lance with him from Williams, and Dmitry Mazepin, the father of the squad’s development driver Nikita Mazepin.

Force India will compete as normal this weekend in Budapest.

Jack Fielding
Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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