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di Resta seat unaffected by Force India woes

Vijay Mallya's current legal battle will not affect either the Force India team, or its ability to field Paul di Resta in 2013, according to deputy principal Robert Fernley.
Paul di Resta will have a seat at Sahara Force India, and the team will be a part of the F1 fraternity, in 2013, despite the arrest warrant issued for owner Vijay Mallya at the weekend.

According to deputy team principal Robert Fernley, the Indian entrepreneur's legal problems will have no direct bearing on the future of the Silverstone-based team, and will not affect its chances of retaining both di Resta and current team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, despite the latter having been strongly linked to Sauber for next season. Mallya and other members of senior management at troubled Kingfisher Airlines have been the subject or arrest warrants after four cheques, worth in the region of $2m, had been bounced by the banks as there were insufficient funds to cover them.

Kingfisher, which appears prominently on the side of the Force India cars, has not turned a profit since it was launched in 2005 and is currently defaulting on payments to airports, banks, staff and the tax authorities, but Fernley insists that its latest situation will have no direct bearing on the team.

"I don't think it will go anywhere," he told Reuters during the Korean Grand Prix weekend, "It is an offence in India to issue a cheque without the funds being there, for sure, and why it was done, I don't know. It is so far below Vijay, he wouldn't have a clue what is going on anyway. I think there's been a request for warrants, [but] I don't think they've been issued. I am 100 per cent sure they haven't been served.

"I'm saddened by the stories, because I think it's probably political mischief that's gone on in India.Vijay is obviously a target at the moment, [but] it doesn't affect the team at all. It has no bearing whatsoever. For some reason, in F1, we are captivated by our own self-importance [but], in Vijay's world, the F1 programme is a relatively small entity."

Mallya was not apparently scheduled to be at either of the grands prix in Japan or Korea, but Fernley is confident that he will be back on the pit-wall for his home event in India - an addition to the F1 calendar that he has helped champion since it was first mooted - next weekend.

With the team principal absent, there has been no announcement regarding drivers for 2013, and both di Resta and Hulkenberg have been linked to moves elsewhere after strong seasons for Force India this year. Although doors have closed at both McLaren and Mercedes since the Singapore race - with Sergio Perez being signed up to replace Lewis Hamilton - Felipe Massa's unresolved situation at Ferrari continues to see both drivers linked to Maranello. Massa, however, appears to have strengthened his hold on another year in red, effectively ending di Resta's options, but Hulkenberg continues to be mentioned in the same breath as the vacancies at Sauber, possibly teaming up with GP2 graduate Esteban Gutierrez in an all-new line-up at Hinwil [see separate story].

“We have served our options on the drivers and now they have a period of time before they come back to us," Fernley revealed to the Sun newspaper, "We don't expect any changes and would like it to be business as usual, because we have two brilliant drivers."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
13.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
13.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
09.09.2012- Vijay Mallya (IND), Chairman and Managine Director Force India
13.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
13.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
12.10.2012-  Free Practice 2, Paul di Resta (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
20.04.2014- Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in parc fermee
20.04.2014- The podium, winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 3rd Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM07 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
20.04.2014- Podium, winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 3rd Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.04.2014- Podium, winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 3rd Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.04.2014- Podium, winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 3rd Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T

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Amigo - Unregistered

October 15, 2012 5:33 PM

Hulkenberg will go to Sauber and he will bring sponsor for Sauber. For his seat at Force India is now competition between 3 drivers they are two former Toro Rosso drivers and former Force India driver Sutil. However, the seat will go to someone who brings best sponsorship deal for Force India. Also Kobayashi can get seat at Force India if he has sponsor and must be better than other competitors. What a shame? At Sauber, one seat will go to other Mexican driver for to keep Mexican Sponsor happy. Hulkenberg will bring Sponsor with him. Kobayashi doesn't have Sponsor at all. So he will be definitely out of F1 next year unless miracle happened for Sponsorship. I don't think he can save his seat even if he won the race because Sauber really need money. Nothing to do with his performance but it's about Sponsor money. It's very sad for Mortor Sport fans because the talented driver has to leave his driver seat to other driver who can pay money for driver seat.

Taz

October 15, 2012 9:41 AM

"political mischief" Gimmie a break, anyone who can use a search engine will know there's more too it than political mischief but it'll all be swept under the carpet when the correct money changes hands. The Hulk if off to Sauber so I wonder who gets the 2nd seat, I'm guessing it's someone with decent sponsors as Paul doesn't have backing.



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