Force India deputy says no fear over F1 team’s future

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SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) Force India’s deputy team principal Bob Fernley says there are no concerns about the future of the Formula One team despite the legal and financial troubles surrounding co-owners Vijay Mallya and Roy Sahara.

Fernley, speaking from the Bahrain Grand Prix, said: “I don’t think there are any concerns for Force India” regardless of the ownership uncertainty.

Mallya, being pursued by creditors who have taken action through Indian courts, has been unable to attend the opening two races of this season while Sahara remains in jail over unpaid debts.

Companies controlled by Mallya and Sahara own 85 percent of the Force India team, which is among their few remaining realizable assets.

“Vijay’s issues are well-publicized but, like all things, there’s been a bit of media over-reaction,” Fernley said Friday.

“Force India is blessed with a very good technical team and that technical team has progressively moved Force India up the constructors’ table and today we are realizing some of the best returns the team has ever had from the payments side of things.

“We also have a very good commercial team. And the commercial team is allowing Force India pretty well now to stand on its own feet.”

The remaining 15 percent of Force India is mostly owned by companies associated with Michael Mols, one of the team’s directors who headed the Spyker F1 team that was the forerunner of Force India.