Force India will get to keep prize money


In a surprise move, team principal Otmar Szafnauer has revealed that Force India will get to keep its prize money.

While it was claimed that the team would lose the prize money for 2017, having gone into administration and thereby becoming insolvent, Szafnauer revealed that while Force India - as a new entrant - has had its points counter re-set to zero, the team will receive the prize money - estimated at around $36.8m - earned last season.

"The remaining nine teams have signed, so to speak, a document that enables us to keep the money that Sahara Force India had earned in years past," revealed Szafnauer at today's press conference.

Asked about the consequences of entering as a new team at this stage in the season, he replied: "The biggest consequence is the fact that we start from zero points, so we forego the 49 points, because those belong to Sahara Force India, which is not an entrant anymore. We are a new entrant and we start from zero.

"We'll do the best we can to score as many points as we can in the remaining race and we'll see where we end up at the end of the season, and that will determine some of the prize fund for the following year.

"As far as engine allocation goes, we had confirmation today from Charlie that we will continue with the engine allocation and gearbox allocation as if we never ceased racing. I think in his eyes he thought that was the most fair thing to do vis-a-vis the other teams, so that's how we're going to go forward."

Asked to reveal what had been going on behind the scenes over the last 48 hours, he explained: "From what I understand, it started of as a share sale that then transferred into an asset sale, for reasons I don't quite understand. But once that happened we needed a new entry into Formula 1 and to gain a new entry in a short period of time takes a lot of work, so the last 48 hours was working towards Racing Point Formula 1 Team gain its new entry, and that was a lot of work to do that. But fortunately with the support of the FIA, FOM, our fellow competitors and colleagues within our community, we got it done. I've got to thank the teams as well for supporting us."

Thankfully, Szafnauer confirmed that the current name for the team is not permanent.

"We've got some time to decide that but I believe now that we are a new entrant with Force India as a chassis name. For us to change, we will have to get approval from the Formula One Commission, so we've got to come up with a name that will be lasting and appropriate and also be approved by the Formula One Commission so I don't know what that is, this is brand new, but the good news is that we've got a few months to think about it before we have to enter next year or for next year."

Reminded that for the last year the intention was to change the team's name, he continued: "Isn't that ironic: we wanted to change it, we didn't, then we could have changed it and we didn't?

"The reason is we started the year with Force India as our chassis name. Formula One, the FIA, they don't like chassis name changes and I understand why, because it confuses the fans. And we thought it was prudent to keep Force India for the fans.

"The cars' are still pink, we still have the same sponsors, we still have the same drivers, we have the same motorhome, we have the same employees. You look at us, we're exactly the same.

"I think it would have been confusing to remove Force India. Racing Point was added in front of Force India instead of Sahara – we were Sahara Force India before – that was just so we can distinguish between the old and the new and Racing Point just happens to be the name of the company in the United Kingdom that owns the assets to that's the only reason for Racing Point being there, but the chassis name still remains Force India and I think from a fan point perspective that's the right thing to do."

Check out our Friday gallery from Spa, here.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 24/08/2018
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2020. All rights reserved.