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Force India dismisses talk of asset seizure

NEWS STORY
24/08/2010

Amidst claims that its legal fight with Aerolab will escalate, Force India remains confident that its assets cannot be seized over the course of the Italian GP weekend next month.

Last week the Silverstone based outfit was ordered to pay wind tunnel operator Aerolab over one million euros plus damages and interest at the rate of 8%.

The order is the first 'result' in the long-running dispute between the two companies as Aerolab admitted that as a result of the retaliatory action already taken by Force India, it is expecting its director Jean Claude Migeot to be charged pursuant to a criminal complaint filed in Bologna.

"It appears that Force India's strategy will be to try and force Aerolab into a settlement that the company has no intention of accepting," said the Italian company. "The upcoming Italian Grand Prix at Monza, during which Force India's assets will be present under Italian jurisdiction, could trigger further exchanges of action between the two parties."

However, Force India - which has high hopes of a strong showing at Monza - has dismissed talk of its assets being seized over the Italian GP weekend.

"The court determined the two cases should be considered separately and ordered Force India to release the 1,074,000 euros lodged with the court and also pay associated costs," said a team spokeswoman according to Reuters. "Force India is in the process of complying with the court's instructions and actively progressing the IP litigation."

In November last year, Aerolab made public its legal case against Force India, stating: "The three-year collaboration with the Silverstone outfit came to an abrupt and unhappy end in September when Aerolab, after serious and persistent breaches of contract by Force India, decided to initiate legal action against Vijay Mallya's team which was, as a result, judicially required to post a significant bond. The matter is still pending and subject to review.

"It is quite unusual for us to comment on negative matters," said Migeot, "but we have been given no other choice but to make public the facts after press reports in recent days suggested that Aerolab has passed on information to parent company Fondtech which enjoys a close technical relationship with Lotus F1 Racing. These rumours are designed only to tarnish the company's reputation and professionalism and to divert attention away from the facts. The truth is that Aerolab is suing Force India for not fulfilling its obligations."

Force India countered with legal action against Aerolab and Lotus despite Mike Gascoyne - who previously worked for Force India before joining Lotus - strongly denying that the Malaysian newcomer had used data belonging to the Silverstone-based team.

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