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Force India: Mallya situation not a concern

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Force India: Mallya situation not a concern
By:
Apr 2, 2016, 8:23 AM

Force India's Robert Fernley has shrugged off the financial troubles facing co-owner Vijay Mallya, insisting the team can stand on its own feet.

Robert Fernley, Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal in the FIA Press Conference
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Alfonso Celis Jr., Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Sahara Force India F1 Team pit gantry
Vijay Mallya, Team Owner, Sahara Force India

Mallya, who co-owns 42.5 percent of the team, is been chased by various banks in India over the debt on his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines.

Doubts have been raised surrounding the financial stability of the team but Fernley played down the issues.

"Vijay’s issues are well publicised but, like all things, I think there’s been a bit of media over-reaction, especially from India on all of that," he said in Bahrain on Friday.

"It’s something, just to give you an idea of India itself, I’ve been in and out of India for well over 30 years and the only thing I’ve learned in 30 years is how little I know about India, so I think you’ve just got to let that flow and for Vijay to deal with it.

"Force India is blessed with a very good technical team and that technical team has progressively moved Force India up the constructors’ table," he added.

Fernley elaborated that he believes the Silverstone-based team is in the best position it has ever been since its debut in 2008.

"I think [today] we are realising some of the best returns the team has ever had from the payments side of things, even though we complain about the disparity – which is a separate issue.

"And we also have a very good commercial team. And I think the commercial team is allowing Force India pretty well now to stand on its own feet and, whilst the shareholders are always there to help us – and Vijay’s been the main person in doing that over the last nine years," he continued.

"It’s not a short term, nine years, to be keeping a Formula One team going. I don’t think there’s any concerns for Force India."

Mallya was due to appear in court on March 30, but the 60-year-old, through his counsel, has proposed a payment of Rs. 4,000 crore [approx $600 million] to the banks to the Rs. 6900 crore [approx $1bn] loan amount he owes.

The banks, however, are yet to respond or agree to Mallya's proposal.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Force India
Author Darshan Chokhani