Lance Stroll, Force India, Yas Marina

Uralkali granted disclosure order in Force India case

2018 F1 season

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A member of the consortium which purchased the assets of Force India F1 team in August, leading to its return to the sport as Racing Point, has been told to hand over documents to a company challenging the sale.

Uralkali, the company controlled by Belarus potash billionaire Dmitry Mazepin which is challenging the asset sale process of Force India to Lawrence Stroll’s Racing Point consortium by administrators FRP Advisory, has won the first round in its battle by being granted a disclosure order against Mr John D Idol, CEO of Michael Kors and a member of the consortium.

According to a statement issued by Uralkali, “the Southern District of New York issued an order earlier this week compelling [Idol] to provide documents in his possession which are relevant to Uralkali’s claims brought in the UK against the administrators of Force India Formula One Team.”

Uralkali has filed a similar application against John McCaw Jnr, another member of the consortium, in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, while similar applications against other members of the consortium are being considered, the statement added.

Uralkali is seeking damages from FRP for alleged misrepresentations and negligence during the sales process, and filed a claim to this effect in the High Court of London on September 28th. The company believes that FRP accepted an inferior bid from Racing Point.

During the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Haas F1 Team initiated a protest against Racing Point as its sought to prove that Racing Point was a “new team” and thus not entitled to the full spectrum of F1 revenues for two years. In the process the US team received documents relevant to its quest for “equality in F1”.

FRP Advisory defended its role in handling Force India’s administration proceedings, which began in July. “We fulfilled our statutory duties as administrators throughout this process and ultimately achieved a very successful outcome for all stakeholders,” they told RaceFans in a statement.

“We remain fully confident that this baseless legal action will be dismissed.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he reported from 300 grands prix plus other categories...

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  • 11 comments on “Uralkali granted disclosure order in Force India case”

    1. In the process the US team received documents relevant to its quest for “equality in F1”.

      I must admit that, when I first saw that line, my instinct was to read it as “equity” rather than “equality” – I wonder how many other readers might be inclined to do the same…

    2. They both should invest as Mazepin-Stroll F1 Racing

    3. Nine teams on the 2019 grid?

      1. Yes and then two race event teams.

    4. I don’t see how a court in New York has jurisdiction in this matter.

      1. It has no jurisdiction at all over a British Administration case. Absolutely none. They have zero rights to order anything relating to the sale of said business but there is a reason the case is being filed in New York. Because they know that but thousand cuts and all that developed from media interest.

        They can order the disclosures- whether the defendants decide to comply is up to them. They may do so to prove a point or they may just completely ignore it. Who knows what the Washington court will “demand”

      2. The only reason I can see that US courts would even spend time on these requests from Uralkali is the defendants live in those jurisdictions — John D Idol must live in New York and John McCaw Jnr must live in “Western District of Washington.”
        That, or the US court system is completely broken and overreaching in areas it has no business. (Or both!)

        Also, irrespective of the drivers, isn’t Stroll a much more promising team owner? I’d much rather have passionate owners that love the sport that mega corporations solely looking for publicity and exposure.

        1. @mtlracer, it could equally be because the companies that those individuals work for are officially based in those jurisdictions. The operations department of Michael Kors, which John D Idol works for, is officially based in New York, so if Michael Kors holds any documentation, it would make sense for any legal action to take place in New York given that is where they are officially based.

        2. I wonder if they are using the US court system to gain the information to challenge the administrators in the UK? No info, no case.. I’m sure this is very simplistic and I’m also quite sure that ultimately, the money would be spent funding a new F1 entrant.

    5. Off season or not, the circus show goes on. You can take Bernie out of F1, but nothing can take the political machinations out of F1.

    6. Like every other legal case ever filed and every other criminal or forensic investigation ever started, you just have to let it run its course and see how things work themselves out. If the U.S. justice system ultimately files charges or subpoenas against the owners of this team, it won’t be anything they haven’t been used to for years. There’s nothing simple about F1 or any business or legal structures relating to F1, and it’s that way mainly to hide money and complicate any cases filed against anyone. F1itself is the same way: When Liberty Media bought F1, they bought a very complex structure involving many corporations, sub-corporations and other shell companies, most of which are based in countries with “lenient” tax laws. One article I read estimated that what we call “Formula One” is also a conglomeration of as many as 60 corporations.

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