F orce India is saved. At 7:10 p.m. on the Thursday before the Belgian GP, the FIA confirmed the continued existence of the team under a new name. The racing team is now competing under the application of “Racing Point Force India”. Strictly speaking, the old team was disbanded in the middle of the season and a new one was launched. With the same 405 employees, the same cars, but a new pair of drivers from Monza. Then Lance Stroll will drive the second Force India alongside Sergio Perez.
It was a constellation that has never been seen before in the history of Formula 1. The old team Force India has lost its 59 points and is excluded from the World Cup because it cannot comply with Article 8.2 of the Sports Act. That requires participation in all races. Racing Point Force India starts from zero at Spa. Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will of course keep their personal World Cup counters. For them there is only a team change.
Stroll only bought the content, not the shell
The continued existence of the team also depended on the approval of the competition, so Racing Point Force India can participate in the award money and not have to wait two years for the first distribution like a completely new team. The only chance to keep the racing team alive was bankruptcy. If the team had been sold normally, the creditor banks in India would have immediately vetoed or demanded so much money that no one could have paid for the transaction. The costs were manageable via the detour of bankruptcy. Five candidates bid on the purchase. It was up to the bankruptcy administrators Geoff Rowley and Jason Baker to decide who won the contract.
In fact, Lawrence Stroll and his friends only took over the racing team's assets. So the factory, machine park, cars, spare parts, the team and the rights to the distribution of the FOM funds. 'With today's decision, the transfer of these assets is official,' says the FIA paper. The shares stay where they are. With Vijay Mallya and the Dutchman Michiel Mol. Only with this constellation was it possible that the racing team could hope to continue to receive its share of the TV rights and prize money. To do this, however, he needed the signatures of all teams. Otherwise the team would have started from scratch like a newcomerhave to start. That would have been too expensive for the new bosses.
Teams are voting again on Force India
The attempt to transfer the distribution rights failed at the first attempt. Renault, McLaren and Williams refused to sign for different reasons. Renault and McLaren mainly out of the concern that Force India could become Mercedes' B-Team after the HaasF1 /Ferrari model. Williams out of existential fears. The rescue of Force India by the Williams patron Stroll could be the downfall for the traditional racing team.
Before the Belgian GP, there was a second attempt to finally carry out the rescue. The FIA and Liberty proposed the compromise with the deletion of the points, which was again submitted to the teams for voting. The revived racing team must now try to overtake Williams, Sauber and Toro Rosso at least until the end of the season. The place achieved at the end determines the share of the prize money. This is of course lower because of the deletion of all points and the associated poorer ranking. The team will still receive the 33 million dollars from pillar 1 of the distributions.
Stroll at Force India, Kubica at Williams?
Formula 1 boss Chase Carey and FIA -President Jean Todt has apparently succeeded in collecting all the signatures. Force India assured the doubters that they did not want to become the Mercedes B-Team along the lines of Ferrari and HaasF1. All employees keep their jobs.
Otmar Szafnauer, who has been promoted from sports director to the new team boss and replaces Bob Fernley, thanked Carey, Todt and the insolvency administrators for saving the racing team. “A few weeks ago, the future of the team was in the stars. Now an exciting chapter lies ahead of us. The team has the backing of the investor group led by Lawrence Stroll. They believe in the expertise and potential of our team. ”
After the transaction is complete, we could be in Monzasee completely new driver pairings. Accordingly, Lance Stroll will drive alongside Sergio Perez for Force India from the Italian GP. Test driver Robert Kubica should then take his place at Williams until the end of the season.
Lawrence Stroll wants to meet his financial obligations at Williams by the end of the year. The Russian billionaire Dimitry Mazepin, father of racing driver Nikita Mazepin, who missed out at Force India and complained about it publicly, could take over his part in 2019.
That would mean Esteban Ocon would initially be on the street . But a solution is also being worked on for the French. He is supposed to drive alongside Fernando Alonso for McLaren from Monza - if McLaren manages to put Stoffel Vandoorne on the road in the middle of the season. Ocon could become Carlos Sainz's team-mate next year.