Last week, I asked you whose dad would buy Force India and today I am happy to share with you the news that Lance Stroll’s dad is buying the team…along with some buddies of his.
The Stroll-led consortium includes Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of Monaco Sports and Management, John Idol, John McCaw Jr, Michael de Picciotto and Stroll’s business partner Silas Chou. One presumes his son will be announcing his departure for the team soon but then he is working off of a contract at Williams and his father is also leveraged in that team as well.
Force India’s COO, Otmar Szafnauer, worked with the administrators at FRP Advisory LLP to secure the buyout and said:
“This outcome secures the future of the Force India team in Formula 1 and will allow our team of racers to compete to our full potential,” said Szafnauer.
“I am delighted that we have the support of a consortium of investors who believe in us as a team and who see the considerable business potential that Force India has within F1 now and in the future.
“At Force India, our expertise and commitment has meant that we have always punched above our weight and this new investment ensures that we have a bright future ahead of us.
“I also would like to thank Vijay, the Sahara Group and the Mol family for all of their support and taking the team as far as their circumstances would allow.”
The takeover will find the F1 paddock seeing the back of Vijay Mallya, Subrata Roy and the Mol family. The statement, via F1’s website, did not mention the issue that was raised in Hungary with McLaren, Renault and Williams not signing the document ensuring that Force India would be eligible for their prize money as new owners are now involved and it’s considered a new team.
Joint administrator Geoff Rowley said: “It is rare that a company can be rescued and returned to a position of solvency. The quality of the various interested parties has been impressive and required careful consideration as the administration has progressed.
“Having followed a robust process, in the end we were left with a highly-credible offer to save the company and restore solvency. All creditors will be paid in full, all jobs will be preserved, and the team will have significant funding to invest in its future.
“Funding to support the team will be made available from today, and significantly more will be available once the company emerges from administration which we expect within the next two to three weeks.”
As a provider of engines and the supporter of Esteban Ocon’s career, I would imagine he would stay with the team. What is unclear is that if Stroll’s son is going to drive for the team, this means Sergio Perez may be looking for a seat and many fans are warming to the idea of the Mexican driver finding a home at Haas F1 in replacement of Romain Grosjean.
There’s also the issue of a name change which has to be managed through the FIA for entry in the next season. The 405 jobs are said to be secure and the funding needed to continue has been guaranteed as well as the payments of current creditors. Sergio gets paid!
Hat Tip: F1