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Force India uncertainty stalls driver market

NEWS STORY
24/07/2018

At a time Force India is said to be considering allowing Esteban Ocon to move to Renault for 2019, it is claimed that uncertainty over the Silverstone-based outfit's future has essentially brought the annual game of 'who goes where' musical chairs to an abrupt halt.

Last week saw Mercedes confirm both its drivers for 2019, while it is understood that Daniel Ricciardo has already agreed to remain with Red Bull, the official confirmation expected this weekend in Hungary.

However, at a time other teams and drivers were hoping to finalise their plans ahead of the summer break, a report in the German media suggests that all else is on hold until the future of Force India becomes clear.

Auto Motor und Sport reports that Force India is about to go into administration, the German publication suggesting the team is seeking an American Chapter 11 model which would see the team continue but in different hands.

Though claims that Rich Energy was seeking to buy the team have been dismissed by Vijay Mallya, speaking at Silverstone he admitted that he is open to offers, even if his cars are not sporting 'for sale' signs.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, the "interested parties" currently looking at the Silverstone-based outfit include an American businessman, a New York investment fund, current sponsor BWT and Lawrence Stroll, father of Williams driver Lance Stroll.

While it is claimed that Force India and Renault have already agreed terms for Ocon, a new owner at the Silverstone-based team, especially if it's Stroll, would see the driver market go into overdrive.

However, Auto Motor und Sport initially claimed that Force India would go into administration as early as yesterday, though the German publication still suggests it will happen ahead of Hungary.

On the other hand, having been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons of late, Mallya might opt to get things underway once the summer break begins and attention turns away from the paddock.

Other than the driver market, the uncertainty at Force India is compromising the team's ambitions for this season whilst also stifling work on next year's car, a situation that would benefit from the investment of the likes of Stroll.

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1. Posted by george, 24/07/2018 13:35

"Well, f1 can hardly afford to loose another team, we would have 18 cars left and the only solution then is to go to 3 cars, which at this moment only Mercedes and Ferrari , Renault ,Haas can afford, Red Bull already having 4 cars. Mr Stroll will march in most likely, but it is not really a strong or long term anchoring. As soon as baby Stroll is tired of his toy, daddy will buy him something else"

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