Mallya steps down as Force India’s managing director

2018 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya has stepped down as the team’s managing director.

Mallya, who acquired the team in 2008 and branded it as Force India, remains a majority shareholder but is no longer a board member.

He is set to be replaced as director by his son Sidhartha Mallya, who was previously a director at Mallya’s Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The team’s management structure will remain largely unchanged, with Robert Fernley continuing as deputy team principal and Otmar Szafnauer continuing as chief operating officer. Subrata Roy, the team’s other majority shareholder along with Mallya, remains chairman.

The ownership of Force India is split between Mallya and Roy, who hold 42.5% each, and the Mol family, which owns 15%.

RaceFans understands from a source at the team that Mallya has relinquished the role in order to concentrate on his ongoing legal problems.

Mallya is fighting extradition to India where the authorities are seeking to prosecute him over allegations of fraud. Earlier this month he lost a lawsuit in the UK brought by a group of Indian banks seeking to reclaim £1.15 billion from his companies.

Although Mallya intends to continue as team principal he has been unable to leave the UK following his arrest last year. He has been giving input into the team’s race weekend operations via a dedicated ‘control centre’ set up in his house.

The 62-year-old has also had medical problems. He underwent surgery on his Parotid Gland earlier this month.

This article will be updated.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Don't miss anything new from RaceFans

Follow RaceFans on social media:

2018 F1 season

Browse all 2018 F1 season articles

Author information

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

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, F1 newsTags

Promoted content from around the web | Become a RaceFans Supporter to hide this ad and others

  • 21 comments on “Mallya steps down as Force India’s managing director”

    1. This situation can’t go on for much longer. He’ll probably be forced to sell the team at some point soon, no?

      1. @tonyyeb

        Ideally yes. But i don’t think he is considering it yet. He also owns a cricket club in India.
        Worth noting that the Chairman, Mr. Subrata Roy, is currently out on parole.

      2. The team is for sale, but I think the owners are still reluctant to acknowledge that they won’t get their asking price

        1. Just so long as they don’t do a Fitzpatrick and hold on to their unrealistic demands until their investment is worth nothing!

          1. I understand it is quite likely that before that happens the management will be obliged to step in and make a sale at a lower price to save the team and make sure suppliers and personell are paid @pez2k

    2. Robert Fernley continuing as deputy team principal

      I’ve mentioned this before, but they really ought to give Bob Fernley the title of team principal, seeing as he is in fact performing a lot of that role’s duties.

      He has been giving input into the team’s race weekend operations via a dedicated ‘control centre’ set up in his house.

      This made me chuckle – I wonder what sort of input he gives to the race! It would seem that it’s just to make him feel more involved.

      I am happy at Mallya’s absence from the pitwall, it avoids tainting the team in any way with all his legal issues. If his extradition/conviction occur, I do hope that it does not impact Force India’s operations.

      1. The team might end up for sale considering his debt and how Indian government has been taking over the assets owned by Mallya.

      2. @phylyp

        This made me chuckle – I wonder what sort of input he gives to the race! It would seem that it’s just to make him feel more involved.

        I reckon they’ve set him up with a copy of Motorsport Manager on his PC and told him it’s the live race.

    3. “He has been giving input into the team’s race weekend operations via a dedicated ‘control centre’ set up in his house.”
      Seriously? Giving advice on what, acceptable champagne brands, whether a particular party girl passes muster, who’s allowed on the yacht? Give me a break.

      1. VJ and Flav. Two peas in a pod.

    4. Lesson: Pay your debts.

      1. Sorry, JohnLee; you are sooo wrong.

        Lesson: Don’t get caught!

      2. The Lannisters agree

    5. Good riddance.
      It is a bit sad though that when eventually Force India change its name, India will no longer have any visible connection in F1. On reflection – India had a track to hold GP, drivers, and principal sponsors for a team.
      The only Indian link being Tata Communications as the official connectivity partner.
      Goes to show there is definite interest in the subcontinent, but unfortunately, the losses are more than gains.
      Singapore is now the best best for an Indian F1 fan.

      1. Few years back we had worked out that Malaysia was the best value proposition for Indian F1 fan even when compared to Indian track itself. There are rumours of some british energy drinks maker in talks of taking over Force India. Off the 2 owners of that team one is already in jail and other one should end up there soon and it would be do good for Kingfisher airlines employees who were left in lurch after Mallya had defaulted on the loan.

        1. De Mol is still free and kicking good owns only 15% but still the third owner.

    6. I am surprised it took this long with such a cloud over him. I am a little surprised he wasn’t forced out by F1 itself. It isn’t good for one of their team owners to be heavily implicated in criminal wrong doings.

    7. Hopefully his son, Siddhartha won’t really get involved in the management of the team and take his role of managing director seriously. That boy is as daft as they come, so I don’t see Force india benefiting from this at all.

      Force india have created a great team over the past few years. If there are any new manufacturers/teams that want to enter the sport, a Force india takeover would be the best way to go.

    8. There is a sad pattern of…..shall we say….less than legitimate
      entreprenurial owners of car racing outfits from way back in
      the 1930’s attempting to use their illegitimate cash supplies
      to build legitimate F1 teams. Seems to go with the territory.

      But I would guess that the current owners of F1 would be extremely
      wary of any jack-the-lad-with-a pile-of-cash-&-dodgy-background
      trying to muscle in on their shiny, super-legit 2018 model of F1.
      They’re filling out all the dents and abrasions to make the whole
      F1 package look shiny and new !

    Comments are closed.