Force India boss Mallya confirms $80-million boost for team

Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Force India Formula One Team Owner. Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Qualifying, Saturday 27 October 2012.

Vijay Mallya at the Indian GP

Nov.22 (Reuters) Force India will have almost $ 80 million to help them move up the Formula One grid after a strong performance this year, the team’s co-owner Vijay Mallya announced on Wednesday.

Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM05 ahead of Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Qualifying, Hockenheim, Germany, Saturday 21 July 2012. BEST IMAGE“We had a board meeting in India after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the board has approved a £ 50 million capital investment programme for the team,” he said in a preview for Sunday’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

“We are going to invest heavily in new technology and give more tools to our design team to try and move further up the grid.”

Indian Liquor and aviation tycoon Mallya is principal of the British-based team that he co-owns with the Sahara Group, which has a 42.5 percent stake.

Force India are seventh overall, on 99 points, 25 behind sixth-placed Sauber and 23 ahead of Williams in eighth, and are almost certain to stay in that position now unless they or Williams have an astonishing result on Sunday.

They finished sixth last year, but with only 69 points, and their current tally is the most they have managed since Mallya bought the struggling team previously known as Spyker, and pryor to that as Jordan) in 2007.

(L to R): Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) with the new Force India VJM05. Sahara Force India VJM05 Unveil, Silverstone, England, Friday 3 February 2012.“Every year we’ve demonstrated that we’ve gone up the ladder,” said Mallya. “And we’ve taken fairly significant steps, not just baby steps. Given the tools that we have, which are mostly of the Jordan era, we have done exceptionally well.”

Sahara invested $100 million in Force India when they bought into the team in October 2011 and Mallya has said the money would be paid in three tranches over three years with the final instalment due in 2013.

No details were given on Wednesday about the time frame for the latest investment.

Both Mallya and Sahara have attracted negative headlines recently, with the former’s Kingfisher airline grounded while the Sahara Group was ordered in August to refund about $4.6 billion to investors after India’s Supreme Court ruled finance schemes run by two of its companies were illegal.

Mallya, one of India’s richest men, also agreed a $2.1 billion deal this month to sell a majority stake in his United Spirits Ltd to Diageo Plc.

Sunday’s race at Interlagos will be German Nico Hulkenberg’s last with the team before he moves to Swiss-based Sauber.

Hulkenberg, who has scored 53 of the team’s points so far, took pole position against the odds for Williams on his last outing in Brazil in 2010 and Mallya praised his contribution to Force India.

“Nico has been one of the stars this season. He’s delivered exactly what we expected of him and brought a lot to this team. He has a big future in F1, and we wish him well,” said the Indian.

Subbed by AJN.

  • JodyRenza

    Great news for the Force! Hopefully they can have a good pair of drivers to back it up & get some podiums!

  • Alonso Alonso Alonso

    First of all they need to kick Di Resta out..
    I think Jules Bianchi and Jaime Alguersuari will be very good for Force India.