Mallya-owned company faces winding-up orders

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In the round-up: A business run by Force India team principal Vijay Mallya faces multiple winding-up orders from companies owed money by it.


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More winding-up petitions pour in against Vijay Mallya’s UB Holdings (The Indian Express)

“In a further blow to Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries Holdings (UBHL), the Karnataka High Court on Friday, admitted six winding-up petitions filed against the company by Kingfisher Airlines’ creditors — including the consortium of banks led by State Bank of India (SBI) and separately United Bank of India (UBI) — who are seeking to enforce corporate guarantees given to them.”

Hulkenberg: New cars harder to drive (Autosport)

With the downforce [in 2013] you could push easily and there was a safety margin when you overdid it that saved you. Now when you overdrive a bit, it’s a lot easier to overdo it and lose the whole lap, although maybe that was just because our car was very peaky.”


Comment of the day

Honda’s inability to update their 2015 engines as their rivals can may reduce the advantage they would have gained from entering in the second year of the new regulations:

Honda had the chance to analyse all power units, check the goods and the bad of every one, then operate the necessary modifidcations in order to have just the best ideas integrated into theirs.

Let’s be honest, Alonso’s move to McLaren was decided by the fact Honda had the chance&time to integrate just the best ideas into their power unit. But I’m pretty sure McLaren, Honda and Alonso won’t be happy at all.

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Five years ago the FIA announced it was looking at ways of “improving the show”. Have they made changes for the better?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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54 comments on “Mallya-owned company faces winding-up orders”

  1. I hope Honda come out of the box running coz if they don’t it would be such an embarrassment given they have had an extra year to learn from others’ mistakes. I do have a horrible feeling though that this is gonna blow up in Alonso’s face coz he doesn’t have the best record on decision making. I can just see a revived Ferrarri back to winning ways giving Vettel yet more championships while Alonso toils in Woking.

    1. @blackmamba I think Alonso made a sideways move, although I think he’s bright enough to have set sights on the Merc contract for 2016. As you say Alonso hasn’t got the best record for decision making because if the pecking order is to change 2016 is the year. For 2015 Ferrari have said the 2015 design is compromised and McLaren is in a similar position with new staff coming in mid project. Tough decisions for 2016.

    2. What extra year?

      They announced this in mid 2013, at which stage the others had been working on v6 engines for more than 3 years Because 2013 was the year they were supposed to be introduced.

      So not only do they not have an “extra year”, they are 3 years behind at least, their engine programme had been shut down in 2008, and the last engine they produced “couldn’t pull the skin off custard” according to brawn engineers.

      1. They might have announced that they would be forming a partnership with McLaren in May 2013, but Honda began their engine development program much earlier than that – remember, Honda was already releasing audio clips of their engine being bench tested in response to the early audio clips of the Mercedes engine being tested in 2013. In fact, quite a few parties were questioning whether Ferrari was running behind schedule given that Honda was able to release audio clips of their engine being tested when Ferrari were unable to do the same.

        In terms of development time, Racecar Engineering has claimed that Honda had a complete conceptual design for an F1 spec V6 turbo engine back in 2012.

        If it is true that they already had a complete conceptual design ready by 2012, it would indicate that Honda were starting to develop their engines at more or less the same time as Renault, Ferrari and Mercedes are likely to have begun development on their engines.

    3. i thought was the biggest ever paid contract, terrible decision you said ?

  2. Alonso biggest weakness is making decisions, he could’ve match or surpass Schumacher WC records if he made every decision right.

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      4th January 2015, 2:01

      @deongunner agree. Imho, 2008 was won by Hamilton not being the best, but the one with a couple of mistakes less (respect to Massa). Both Massa and Hamilton had very weak teammates (Kovalainen never impressed me and Kimi 2008 was horrible). If Alonso had stayed that 2008, I guess (we can only guess right?) he would have clinched the third WDC then. Not sure if he could already have 4 right now, because just then in 2009 came Brawn GP, then Red Bull, then Merc…
      But his second stint in Renault have been a real waste of time for Alonso.

      1. @omarr-pepper Kimi 08 was awful because Lewis rammed him over in Canada, some glitches aside he was okay and he was a great teammate in Brazil 08 but things didn’t work out. Lewis has a knack of getting the job done, his 08 and 14 titles were decided by not trying to be “the hero” but focusing on finishing.

      2. I tend to disagree with the notion that Alonso’s decision making is his biggest weakness… After all that happened in 2007 there was no way McLaren and Alonso were going to work together in 2008… And he did have an opportunity to GOTO red bull in 2008 but he decided to join Renault and wait for the opening in Ferrari .. IMO most of the drivers would have done the same …choosing Renault and Ferrari over red bull seems bad decision making in hindsight ..but nobody thought at that time redbull were going to be such a force …and now he’s decided to go back to McLaren coz he thinks Ferrari are gonna take a lot of time to recover and mclaren is the only option he has for now… Only time will tell how this turns out …

        1. I agree that it is only in retrospect that the decision to turn down that offer from Red Bull at the tail end of the 2007 season looks like such a bad decision.

          After all, back in 2008 Red Bull and Toro Rosso, although both improving, were midfield teams at the time, and both outfits had a reputation of being “party teams” that were more interested in publicity stunts than racing.

          By contrast, although Renault were not at the same level as in their championship winning days, they were still much more competitive than Red Bull were at the time, whilst Ferrari at the time were the front running team and would be an obvious choice for a competitive driver. It would be a bit like signing with Force India today – you would expect a solid midfield car, not a championship contender.

          Even back in 2010, Alonso’s choice didn’t look too bad – although Ferrari didn’t have the quickest car, they were still competitive enough to pressurise Red Bull that year; it’s only after that point that Ferrari really began stagnating so badly.

          1. by 2008 they already have signed Adrian Newey. With deep pockets and arguably on of the best 3 designers of f1 of all times, it was almost a matter of time until they win 4 wcc and 4 wcc in a row… maybe i’m a little biased, but i think alonso could’ve easily won those championships aswell

        2. I completely agree @puneethvb. In hindsight, the world is always perfect.

      3. Had Alonso and Ferrari not committed the strategic blunder at Abu Dhabi 2010, he would have had a 3rd title. But it could have been the 4th if Alonso had not let the Hamilton-Dennis tensions get to him in 2007 (his staying longer in his pits during qualy at Spa to get even on Lewis would undoubtedly have contributed to this, since he was then penalized and had to come from the back). He also spun out of a wet Japanese GP at Fuji that year.

        And in Alonso’s first year with Ferrari, let’s not forget his jump start at one of the races and crashing out at Monaco practice.

        If you ask me, it is Alonso’s on-track mistakes and race strategy blunders that have cost him titles and not his decision making though that has always appeared to be flawed ever since he left McLaren in 2007…

    2. He was offered a Red Bull seat for 2008, maybe 7 time champion?

      1. @Spinmastermic What an agonizing thought for an Alonso fan!

    3. Alonso gets touted as the best driver on the grid today, but for the length of time he has been in F1 he only has 2 titles, the last of which came way back in 2006. A lot of people think he has just been unlucky to be driving an inferior car for the most part, but for me that’s to be expected. You can’t always be in a dominant car. However looking back I question Alonso’s decision making for most of his career, which for me is the major reason why he has not added to his tally of world titles. 1) In 2007 he had the car to win the title but he shot himself in the foot by deciding to go to war with the team owner. For me that was a poor decision because if he had focused all his energies on the title he could easily have won it but he focused too much on trying to acquire the status of No.1 driver. 2) The 2008 McLaren car would also have given him a 4th title if he had not decided to make his position in the team so untenable that he had to leave. 3) When Coulthard retired Red Bull approached him with an offer but he decided to return to Renault and Vettel got the seat and the rest is history and so on and so on. He decided not to take a risk like Hamilton did in going to a less fancied team and it cost him a few titles. 4) In his first year with Ferrari in 2010 he had a great chance which to date remains his best chance at Ferrari to win the title but so many bad decisions were made in that race in Abu Dhabi that I’m surprised nobody went into therapy. So for me Alonso would have at least matched Schumacher’s record of most titles had he made a few better decisions along the way.

    4. @deongunner:
      His instinct in 2006 had been great, making the move from a dominant team (Renault) to a team that didn’t score a single win (McLaren), but turned out to be the most competitive team in 2007.
      His unsuccessful time with Ferrari was unfortunate. He thought that Ferrari had a lot of potential, which initially seemed to pay off in 2010, until he lost the title due to a mixture of strange Pirelli tyres, bad strategy and bad luck. Then came the years of Red Bull’s greatest dominance, while Ferrari started to spiral downwards, even though this development was somewhat masked by Alonso’s stellar performances.
      I understand that he did try to find a more competitive team, but the one option he had was Mercedes, who were downright abysmal at the time of Schumacher’s departure.

      1. Bridgestone, I meant Bridgestone.

      2. @nase Yeah but if he decided not to play politics with McLaren and just race he definetly will beat Hamilton, and if he did not turn off RBR contract offer he will be 4 time WC or possibly 5, he was in a same situation with Hamilton when leaving McLaren, Hamilton took a gamble and Alonso didn’t. Dont get me wrong Alonso is my favourite driver, but he still have weakness

  3. Well it looks like these cars harder to drive, but they have less speed.

    1. Actually they are faster, they just have less rear grip or downforce so they can’t get round corners quicker but in a straight line they are rockets.

      1. That was one of the things I loved about the new cars. Back to speeds the V10’s reached.

        1. Absolutely. Also, the much slower cornering speeds are beneficial for overtaking. Ten years ago, when F1’s lap times were peaking, closing up on and overtaking a similarly fast car was virtually impossible due to dirty air.

          Me, I’m in love with the new regulations.

  4. It’s interesting looking back at that 2010 pre-season article, I was especially interested in this:

    As discussed here recently, the banning of refuelling opens up opportunities for interesting strategy variations creating more interesting races. But the compulsory tyre change rule introduced in 2007 will work against this if it is not removed.

    At the moment drivers are required to use both types of tyres at least once during a dry race. By removing that requirement drivers will be free to approach the race in different ways. One might use a softer, quicker tyres but make two pit stops for fresh rubber. Another might bolt on harder tyres and try to get through with one stop or none at all.

    That variety will produce more interesting and exciting races – like the thrilling battle between Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet at Silverstone in 1987.

    I feel that this rule and the ‘start on the tyre you qualify’ rule have actually been working quite well with the Pirellis, it quite often opens up opportunities for some drivers to sprint finish which is always exciting.

    Back then no-one was really expecting the FIA to adopt ‘designed to degrade’ tyres though. @icthyes ‘s comment here was quite prescient.

    1. Also: I have no idea how that text formed the link, but I’ll take it :P

    2. @george I stil feel they should ditch that rule forcing them to run both compounds & I also feel they should remove the limit forcing teams to run the 2 compounds selected by Pirelli.

      Let teams & drivers run the races however they want, Give them complete tyre strategic freedom, Don’t limit them with 2 compounds & mandatory stops.

      If 1 driver wants to run the hardest compound all race trying to run the whole race non-stop then they should have that option. If a driver wants to run the softest compound & do 2-3 stops that option should also be available. And every strategic possibility in-between.

      Go back & see how things worked pre-refueling, They could do whatever they wanted with the tyres, run whatever strategy they wanted & could make as many or as few pit stops as they wanted & that was so much more interesting & producing far more interesting & unpredictable races than anything we have had since be it refueling, no tyres changes, high-deg tyres or mandatory stops to run 2 compounds.

      Its quoted a lot but look at the 1990 French Gp, The 2 Leyton House drivers (Ivan Capelli & Mauricio Gulgelmin) started on the hardest compound & planned to make no pit stops. As others pitted they found themselves 1st/2nd & Capelli came within 2-3 laps of pulling off a surprise win having had both Leyton House cars fail to qualify for the previous race.
      Then there’s the example of Michael Schumacher’s 2nd F1 win at Estoril in 1993, He went into the race planning a 2 stops but decided to ditch the 2nd stop when he found himself in the lead & managed to hold Off Prost to get the win, Under the current regulations he’d have been forced into a 2nd stop to use the other tyre compound.

      For all the talk about how the Pirelli’s have mixed up strategy, For the most part everyone usually ends up running the same strategy with the same number of stops.
      In a way its almost as bad as refueling was in that regard in that What we have now is limiting teams ability to try something different, Not giving them any extra opportunities as there handicapped by the rules restricting there strategy options & in some cases been badly hindered by 1 compound not working with there car.

      1. Look at this timing data from the 1993 German Gp, A really mix of pit strategies, Some did no-stops while others did 1 or 2, Sadly doesn’t how the differences in tyre compounds but they had 4-5 dry compounds to pick from back then-

      2. It’s a good point you make, I think Pirelli are reluctant to take too many tyres to each race though, so teams would probably have to nominate their tyre choice well in advance (as Pirelli do now).

        I think the positive of having to run two compounds is it takes teams out of their comfort zone. I assume 90% of the time they would choose the tyre that works best for them and just run that, but we quite often hear their surprise that the car works better or longer on another tyre.

        I think a mixture of the two, where teams can choose whichever two compounds they like but the number of sets of each are still limited, and they have to run both, could be the sweet spot. It would open up a bit of freedom in strategy and prevent favouring cars which work better on certain tyres, but still force them to use a less favourable tyre to mix up the race strategy a bit.

        1. The other aspect is that, if you were to open up the tyre choice and allowed the teams to pick any tyre they wanted at each venue, how many teams would actually opt for a different strategy?

          Most venues have certain characteristics about them that tend to favour one particular tyre compound, and therefore a particular strategy – for example, venues like Silverstone or Sepang favour the hardest compound tyres due to the high cornering loads (mainly due to the difference in construction rather than just the compound type), whilst at the other extreme venues like the Hungaroring or Singapore would push teams to the softest compounds.

          Equally, is there something of a selective bias in the way that we remember such unusual strategies? We remember the ones which worked, such as Leyton House in the 1990 French GP, but have we forgotten about the times have we also seen a driver try an unusual strategy and seen it backfire? Ignoble failures are unlikely to be remembered by the fans, but are likely to be rued for some time by the teams that made those mistakes and therefore make them less willing to try gambles like that in the future.

      3. The costs of that would be absurd.

        Every car now has to be supplied with 12 sets of tyres for every race weekend. That’s 48 rims PER CAR that has to get the rubber on, be shipped and warmed up during the weekend. That’s part of the reason that carbon fibre wheels – while hugely beneficial – won’t come to F1 anytime soon. Koenigsegg pioneered those carbon fibre rims and they as a company have made only about 22 individual carbon fibre rims in their history if i’m not mistaken.

        Multiply it by 18 cars and you have 864 wheels for the whole paddock, each week. Scrap the two compounds rule and you have to assemble another two whole sets of different compound, or 432 additional rims and tyres. Each. Week.

        1. Allowing multiple tyre suppliers would fix that, It would spread the cost amongst 2 or more suppliers rather than having 1 supplier having to supply everyone.

          I think that woudl actually work better with that system anyway as the tyres woudl actually be the best they could be which would perhaps bring in larger differences between the compounds (As we actually had Pre-94).

  5. I’m sure McLaren and Honda will do everything they can to fight to be part of this loophole. I can’t watch a 3rd year with them trundling around the midfield.

    1. I feel your pain, McLaren are a top team, and we deserve to be at the pointy end.

      1. If they deserved to be at the pointy edge, they would been at the pointy edge.

  6. Guys, I’m not a fan of Alonso (but I respect his speed and fighting spirit very much), however when you say he has made bad career choices, remember that you’re saying this after the facts, once history has unfold. It’s very easy to say things like that now, not do easy to choose between RB and Ferrari before the RB years.

    1. +1… Hindsight is a wonderful thing and lot of our friendz seem to forget that …. IMO the biggest mistake he made in his career was falling out with his team in 2007 and becoz of that he had to leave McLaren ( not sure he had any chance of staying there even if he wanted as many people seem to suggest in other posts) … after 2007 the choices he made were actually looked the best options at that point of time even though they turned out differently …

    2. 2007 was really his only year where he made bad decisions of which we could all tell they would work out bad right away. Turning down Red Bull for example could have been his best decision if it had been Ferrari who came up with a perfect EBD for example. Mind you, if luck had swung his way a little more in ’10 or ’12 those titles could’ve been his. I also would’ve chosen Ferrari over RB in that period, remember their first win only came in 2009, a full season after he left McLaren. In the end he should’ve been nice in ’07, take or miss on the title but surely take it in ’08 where let’s be honest neither title contenders really had their most consistent season whereas you can always count on that from Alonso.

    3. ColdFly F1 (@)
      4th January 2015, 9:34

      +1, and had Ferrari delivered as during the Schumacher years (as we all expected) then everybody would have praised Alonso for his superb decision making in 2007 (sitting on the fence 1 year before starting a long term commitment with Ferrari).

  7. Not *so* easy

  8. With the downforce [in 2013] you could push easily and there was a safety margin when you overdid it that saved you.

    Hate those kind of words. You’re driving the car, you shouldn’t let the car drive you. One of the reasons I really liked the new DF levels of the new cars. Let them struggle, it shouldn’t be easy.

    1. ColdFly F1 (@)
      4th January 2015, 9:37

      +1 @xtwl
      But rather than ‘Let them struggle’, let them show how good they are.

      1. @coldfly let the talents rise and let the others show how hard it really is.

    2. @xtwl I think you’re misinterpreting. I think he was suggesting that the 2014 New regs and things are out of balance again so inevitably trickier to manage. They’ll be ‘easier’ in 2015 because they have learned things from the previous season.
      We want cars that encourage the drivers to push the limit more of the time, if not all the time. We don’t want undrivable, unpredictable and unreliable contraptions. We want the very best the designers and engineers can develop. Something that will allow the drivers to shine, rather the driver be driving than managing a difficult beast…

      1. (…a whole bit missing there for some reason). It should be:

        I think you’re misinterpreting. I think he was suggesting that the 2014 cars and things are out of balance again…

      2. @psynrg We want the very best cars, but then the driver should be able to take that car to another level where it isn’t easy to drive. And my point is it shouldn’t be easy to get that extra out of the car.

  9. I can’t agree with CotD’s prediction that Alonso/Honda/McLaren won’t be a happy combination. I think Alonso is very much Ron’s kind of driver and vice-versa – they share the same off-the-scale need to win. I predict they will bond this time.

    In 2007 it was simply bad luck that Nando encountered Lewis Hamilton, in the same way they were both unlucky to encounter the Vettel/Newey combo. Then given that he did encounter Lewis, Fernando had to leave so it was just one of those things. People say he’s have won 2008 but we have to remember Max was working hard, through Allan Donnelly, to stop Ron winning anything. Then Alonso should have won in 2010 but for a couple of mistakes earlier in the season and everyone underestimating the Renaults at Abu Dhabi, so I don’t think Ferrari was a bad decision. Now it’s been the best decision to move, surely.

    Ron is quite bullish about the Honda engine and he’s got Prodromou, no more Sam Michael, so let us see. I reckon it could go really well.

  10. Once again I wonder whether FI’s future is safe or compromised. I mused about it about 4 months ago and some silly fellow replied saying I shouldn’t read too much Joe Saward after arbitrarily deciding for me F1F isn’t my usual only stop.

    So I wonder how FI is financed? Looks like the sharks circle ever nearer to VM and I just looked up the head of Sahara to find he’s now languishing in jail attempting to come up with some rather frightening sums to post bail.

    1. Sauber, Force India and Lotus all seem like they could drop out tomorrow, just as easily as they could go on racing for years to come. Only teams that are safe are top 5 and that’s that. Pretty sad for “pinnacle” of motorsport.

    2. I can kind of see why somebody might have thought that you had been reading Joe Saward’s blog given that Joe has been writing numerous pessimistic articles on Force India for years, to the point where quite a few people have questioned whether he has a personal grudge against them.

      I do not have the specific details to hand, but I believe that Force India’s finances comes partly from United Breweries, partly from FOM prize money and, in recent years, a small supplement from Telmex.

  11. Regarding Hülkenberg’s comments on the new regulations, the V6 turbo engines have been good in several ways. The torque produces some excitement in qualifying (not so much in the race) and if this new formula can prevent current engine manufacturers from leaving and thus keeping the sport sustainable for the foreseeable future, that’s ultimately a good thing. The most obvious drawback to a portion of Formula 1 spectators is the lack of noise.

    The main problem I have with the turbo engines is the combination with the Pirelli tyres. The engine’s high torque means the car’s back end is more alive, but with the Pirelli tyres the drivers try to contain it as much as possible. As a result, we rarely see cars sliding, let alone drivers using a slide to go faster. If the tyres would be more durable (like the pre-2010 Bridgestones), the number of pit stops will go down, but it gives the drivers the opportunity to use four-wheel drifts to their advantage.

    In my opinion, the main problem with F1 in general is that the cars are not exciting to watch on their own. There is no earth-shattering noise, there are no sparks (do not get any ideas, Bernie.. oh what am I worrying about, he doesn’t listen to fans anyway), tyre conservation and high downforce mean the cars are too planted to see drivers getting out of shape… the only thing left is the speed, which is about 10% slower than 10 years ago.

    Last year I realised how dull modern F1 cars are when I was watching a historic touring car race at Zandvoort.
    The cars were not fast, there was no real battle for the lead, but still it was really exciting to watch, because most cars were sliding through the corners. To be perfectly honest, it was more ‘exciting’ to watch than any F1 session I have seen with my own eyes.

    So yeah, the V6 turbo engines were pretty much necessary to keep F1 alive, but I feel like there is a lot more potential.

  12. found a touching vid of alonso swapping helmets with ric tha going to personally congratulate lewis and his family.

  13. I think Force India Team has problem with this.

  14. Lets see how Mallya can get out / through this one and postpone the inevitable.

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