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.
Though the NTT IndyCar Series hasn’t confirmed the date of its 2020 season finale, it has determined that double points won’t be in play.
An IndyCar official confirmed Monday to NBCSports.com that whether the season ends at Weather Tech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, or on the streets of St. Petersburg, neither race will feature double points. Team owners were informed of the change during a conference call last week.
The news was first reported by RACER.com.
With the original 17-race schedule having been shortened by the cancellation of at least three races (Circuit of The Americas, Barber Motorsports Park, the Long Beach Grand Prix), using double points in the finale would have carried even greater weight (and perhaps more so if more races are unable to be run because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
IndyCar has been using double points at select races since the 2015 season. The 104th Indianapolis 500 will remain a double-points event.
In rescheduling the Indy 500 to Aug. 23 last week, IndyCar unveiled a revised schedule that listed Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg as TBD for its season finale. The race originally had been scheduled to open the season before being called off because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
IndyCar CEO Mark Miles told reporters last week that St. Pete probably would be slotted into the first two weeks October after the Sept. 20 race at Laguna Seca that had been slated to be the season finale for the second consecutive year.