Vijay Mallya, Team Principal, Sahara Force India, in an interview has cleared all airs concerning Force India’s partnership with Sahara, refuting any signs of a weakened collaboration. Ahead of Mexican Grand Prix, Mallya said, “I am very happy with Sahara Group as partners. There is no issue at all. I feel very sorry for Subrata Roy but this unfortunate situation is not affecting the team in anyway. Our partnership stands strong,”
This statement has quashed all those rumors which were running rife indicating towards the partnership between Sahara and Force India in doldrums in the wake of Formula 1 team’s co-owner and Sahara Group chief, Subrata Roy, being in jail since March 2014.
In 2011, Sahara pumped USD 100 million into Force India for a 42.5 stake alongside team founder Mallya. The Moll family from the Netherlands holds the remaining 15 percent stake. Team Force India has been performing extremely well off late with Sergio Perez delivering the team’s third ever podium at Sochi.
“It is something we are very proud of (the team’s performance graph since 2008). We have got three podiums now with the last one coming at Sochi. We are hoping for a similar result in Mexico to further strengthen our fifth place in the team standings,” said Mallya of his squad which is on its way to finish fifth for the first time.
The midfield outfit has constantly criticized the income distribution model in F1 with five teams – Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Williams – taking a chunk out of the teams’ share. It recently raised eyebrows by complaining to the European Union regarding the sport’s governance and its existing income distribution model.
Aware of the repercussions, Mallya said it is tough to predict the outcome of the case. He elaborated, “I mean nobody can predict the outcome of a European Union complaint. We have filed a complaint because we believed the distribution of income in Formula 1 is not fair, it is disproportionate. Now it is up to the commission to take whatever action they want to take. Five teams cannot take away the bulk of the income. Distribution has to be fair. We are carrying on despite challenges. We would not be here if it did not make financial sense. All we are saying is that it has to make better financial sense.”