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Force India goes into administration

NEWS STORY
28/07/2018

Force India deputy principal Bob Fernley has confirmed that the team has been put in administration.

The move followed a court hearing in London yesterday.

"An administrator was appointed by the court for Force India F1 this evening," Fernley subsequently told Reuters.

In a statement, Joint Administrator Geoff 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."

In a further twist to the tale, it is understood the situation was brought to a head by Sergio Perez, who is owed in excess of $4m as part of various sponsorship deals he brought to the Silverstone-based outfit.

Engine supplier Mercedes is also understood to be owed around $15.5m, and like Perez is understood to have been involved in the action that led to yesterday's hearing.

Speaking yesterday at the Hungaroring, the team's COO, Otmar Szafnauer, said: "Within a week or at the most two, our financial future will become more clear and I believe much more secure.

"I know there's discussions going on in the background and I'm not privy to those because it's a shareholder issue," he added. "I'm not a shareholder otherwise I would know more. It will be very soon."

It is widely thought that the timescale referred to relates to that fact that a major investor or possible new owner is about to step in.

While most of the current speculations cites Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, Auto Motor und Sport claims interest from a number of other potential buyers including an American businessman, a New York investment fund and current sponsor BWT.

However, another possible buyer is Russian fertiliser billionaire Dmitry Mazepin, whose son Nikita is a development driver for the team. Ironically, the father of the team's official test and reserve driver, Nicholas Latifi, recently invested 203.8m in McLaren.

While the team has regularly punched well above its weight in terms of the finance available - finishing fourth in the team standings for the last two seasons - this year has been particularly tough, with the lack of cash flow making development even harder, hence the team's struggle to match its performance of recent years.

Check out our Saturday gallery from the Hungaroring, here.

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