The Force India Formula One team went into administration, as expected, late Friday evening in London following a High Court hearing brought by a winding-up order.Also Read - F1: Max Verstappen Beats Lewis Hamilton to Win Abu Dhabi GP 2021, Clinches Maiden F1 World Championship Title on Last Lap of Season
Deputy team principal Bob Fernley confirmed the action, telling reporters that an “administrator was appointed by the court for Force India this evening”. Also Read - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021 Live Streaming in India - Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen: Where to Watch F1 Abu Dhabi GP Live Race Today Online, TV Telecast of Formula One Race
There was no further immediate comment from the team, which, on Friday, had said it hoped to resolve its critical cash-flow difficulties with the help of new investment, while under administration. Also Read - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying Results: Max Verstappen Outpaces Lewis Hamilton to Take Pole Position in Title-Decider at Yas Marina Circuit
The team’s senior driver Sergio Perez on Thursday said the situation was “critical”. The Mexican driver is reportedly owed more than four million dollars while engine suppliers Mercedes are owed more than 15 million dollars.
The team’s second driver Esteban Ocon, who is under contract until the end of 2019, is expected to leave the team to join Renault for next year in a transfer that may help alleviate the problems.
Both drivers and the rest of the team are in Budapest preparing for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Main shareholder and team principal Vijay Mallya is fighting extradition to India from Britain as a result of actions taken by Indian banks following the collapse of his Kingfisher Airlines.
The team’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer told a news conference Friday at the Hungaroring circuit that he was optimistic a solution was about to be found.
“I think it’s imminent. There are discussions going on in the background and I am not privy to those because it is a shareholder issue… But it will be very soon.”
Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, the father of Williams’ teenager driver Lance Stroll, has been linked with the team as an investor in a move that would also see his son move teams.
(With Inputs From PTI)