Force India Formula 1 team owner Vijay Mallya has been re-arrested and bailed in London, England following a fresh money laundering charge from Indian authorities.
Mallya, who has owned the Force India team since 2008, was first arrested and bailed back in April after calls for extradition to India relating to financial irregularities surrounding Kingfisher Airlines, which closed down four years ago.
Mallya was arrested for a second time on Tuesday in London following the new charge which, according to the crown prosecution service, “is essentially showing where the money went to. For example, it is alleged that some of the funds ended up with the Force India racing team”.
Speaking outside the court after being bailed, Mallya is quoted by The Guardian as saying: “I deny all allegations that have been made and I will continue to deny them. I have not eluded any court.
“If it is my lawful duty to be here, I’m happy to be here.”
Mallya has remained in the UK since the calls for extradition, attending only the British Grand Prix, with Force India’s management at races being shared between deputy team boss Bob Fernley, commercial chief Otmar Szafnauer and technical head Andrew Green.
Car No.: 20
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Championship Position: 14th
Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.
For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.
Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.
Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.
Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.
That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.
The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.
Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.
Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.