Nikita Mazepin, Force India, Hungaroring, 2018

Stroll deal to bring Force India out of administration

2018 F1 season

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The Force India Formula 1 team is to be rescued from administration following the announcement of an investment package involving Lawrence Stroll, father of Williams driver Lance Stroll.

Administrators FRP Advisory announced on Tuesday that all 405 jobs at the team will be saved. It is expected to emerge from administration within the next three weeks, having been placed in administration 11 days ago.

A deal to save the team has been agreed between the joint administrators, senior members of the team’s management and a group of investors led by Stroll.

The latter includes Stroll’s business partner Silas Chou, Canadian businessman Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of management advisory firm Monaco Sports and Management, chairman of Michael Kors fashion brand John Idol, telecommunications investor John McCaw Jnr and Engel & Völkers vice chairman Michael de Picciotto.

Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said: “This outcome secures the future of the Force India team in Formula 1 and will allow our team of racers to compete to our full potential.

“I am delighted that we have the support of a consortium of investors who believe in us as a team and who see the considerable business potential that Force India has within F1 now and in the future.”

Szafnauer said the investment “ensures that we have a bright future ahead of us.”

“I also would like to thank Vijay [Mallya], the Sahara Group and the Mol family for all of their support and taking the team as far as their circumstances would allow,” he added.

As many as five potential investors are believed to have expressed interest in the team. Joint administrator Geoff Rowley said “it is rare that a company can be rescued and returned to a position of solvency.”

“The quality of the various interested parties has been impressive and required careful consideration as the administration has progressed. Having followed a robust process, in the end we were left with a highly-credible offer to save the company and restore solvency.

“All creditors will be paid in full, all jobs will be preserved, and the team will have significant funding to invest in its future.

“Funding to support the team will be made available from today, and significantly more will be available once the company emerges from administration which we expect within the next two to three weeks.”

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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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  • 119 comments on “Stroll deal to bring Force India out of administration”

    1. Great news!

      1. Force Canada

    2. The Stoll money is moving from William’s to FI and Martini is leaving at the end of the season. Unless William’s becomes the Mercedes B team, I think they will be the next into administration.

      1. I mean to write “Williams” but phone autocomplete disagrees.

      2. “Stroll money” probably includes the Canada-Life sponsorship — it’s parent company is Great-West, of which Andre Desmarais is a board member.

      3. Stroll wanted to make Williams a Mercedes B team, but they refused, so now he is taking his money to Force India to make that team the Mercedes B team.

        1. Who will probably also refuse… …but hopefully by that point Lawrence will realise the team is well enough run not to need such a designation.

        2. HE would be stupid to do so though, since that would also mean running Mercedes young drivers – i.e. Ocon and probably Norris over finding a place for Lance (unless in 3rd driver/simulator driver roles) @silfen.

          And as @alianora-la-canta mentions, I think it is pretty obvious that the team doesn’t need a change of approach with their car design, technical department (nor drivers really, Perez and Ocon have been doing a fine job mostly). It would risk upsetting a smoothly run team to do so.

          And since Stroll is a businessman, I am sure that he is not going to be keen to throw away results just to push through a “B-team” thing – can you imagine the engineer being proud of “doing the best we can as a B-team” instead of simply doing the best job (as they have been doing recent years)?

      4. Williams has its self to blame with poor decisions and to many daddies looking after their incapable kids, has bought this team to it’s knees, and its now facing death as Villie put it.

      5. Hope this doesn’t reopen the door for Pastor to return…

    3. Mixed feelings.

      Glad to hear FI being saved. The people working there deserve it after being best of the rest for years on a minor budget.

      But…

      Somehow the Stroll family buying the team sounds worse than them going into administration. I feel terrible knowing Lance is going to have a certain seat with a team that has proven to be able to build a great car with a shoestring budget.

      FI personel deserve better drivers than Lance.

      1. Somehow the Stroll family buying the team sounds worse than them going into administration.

        Believe me, that’s not true.

      2. all jobs will be preserved

        I’m guessing one of the drivers isn’t on the list of current employees.

        1. I think they mean that there will be 405 employees at the end of the process, like they were at the start. It’s a numerical count, not a job guarantee.

          I just hope that Esteban and Checo both get good seats from this, because their driving – and Checo’s willingness to initiate protective administration – is the reason Lance has a team (presumably) about to take him that is faster than a Williams.

        2. I am unsure the drivers qualify as employees @alianora-la-canta, @drycrust. Like most drivers they are rather offereing their services through their management companies so do not get a salary but they get paid renumerations for services offered.

          That said, if the target of the group is to have a well run team that can pay most of it’s own bills from being clever in how they use their money to extract an incredible level of performance, they would be wise to keep with drivers that perform like Perez and Ocon instead of pushing a pay driver in. Without doubt that would also demotivate the team members.

          1. @bascb Drivers may or may not qualify as contractors based upon the nature of their contracts – either state is theoretically possible, depending on individual workings. However, all driver-team combinations have a document posted to the Contracts Recognitions Board, so there are elements of employee connection in even the least employee-like version of the driver-team relationship.

            Besides, it’s a fact that the team has to have two drivers (whether treated as employees, contractors or something else in legal terms), because the F1 regulations specify that number (assuming 10 teams compete). This would have allowed, for the purposes of statements like FRP made, to include the driver positions among the 405, regardless of whether those jobs would be regarded as employees in any other context.

            1. Thank you for filling in the details there @alianora-la-canta, well informed as ever :-)

    4. I really want them to become a Canadian team!
      But in any case, this great news for a fantastic team.

    5. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      7th August 2018, 19:46

      Wonder if this has any implications for Merc placing Russell at Williams.

      1. Depends if Merc can/will outbid Kubica, I think.

    6. Called it! Great news for a team that really deserved to be saved. Now Veruka, er, Lance will have a different Mercedes powered ride. Guess it will be Lance and Ocon next year, I think they are still peeved at Perez. Williams will need a new title sponsor and quick.

      1. Rumour is that it will be Perez and Stroll

        1. Perez will be relieved to be freed from Ocon.

      2. Perez is owed a large payout and is party to the receivership lawsuit. They won’t fire him.

        1. That’s my thinking too. Nevertheless, there’s probably a seat going at Williams for next year.

      3. @CareyPatrick – Veruca Stroll! That’s perfect!

        Lance: Daddy, I want an F1 team.
        Lawrence: But Lance, honey, I already got you a ride. Buying teams is expensive.
        Lance:I don’t care. I want one.

        I want a team…
        I want a B team…
        Fast cars and tires and then it transpires that I cannot drive
        I want a team

        1. LOL, that just made my day. Thanks for taking it to the next level ;)

    7. Sooo… what happens to Ocon? Looks like he’ll be the loser in the driver market.

      1. Put him next to Max!

      2. I’d be shocked if Ocon isn’t driving in f1 next year, think Haas, McLaren, Williams would all jump at the chance. Possibly give him a shot at Red Bull!

      3. Ocon to Williams seems the most logical solution.

      4. Since DR signed Renault I fear for the worst. Ocon is Tier 1 material and it’s baffling that he may not get a decent seat next year.

      5. Simple. Mercedes plants him at Williams as part of Force India B team, Willilams and Stroll deal triangle.

      6. @hugh11
        Ocon’s career is managed by Mercedes. Although i would love to see him move up the ladder (say RB-H), i don’t think they will give him up so easily. For now, a seat at Williams looks to be the best option. Perez may not leave (cannot) unless he (and other creditors) are paid in full. It will be interesting to see how well they attract new sponsors in the years to come.
        What this does, is pushes Russel’s entry into F1 back by a year or two. Unless Perez moves to (say) Haas in the future. It is fun to speculate though.

      7. I think he’s on a path to Mercedes reserve, with whichever opportunistic race seat emerges from all this (I have a feeling there will be one, I just couldn’t say where yet).

    8. How much $$ is the investment believed to be? About what percentage will their holdings amount to?

      1. just guessing, but based on my experience, in similar ‘coming out of administration’ cases:
        How much $$ is the investment believed to be?‘ probably a $150M loan (over time) to pay off the existing shareholder loans, plus some working capital funds. Normally new owners negotiate a ‘haircut’ with existing creditors, but here it says “All creditors will be paid in full”.
        About what percentage will their holdings amount to?‘ 51-100% for as little as $1. More likely to be closer to the upper limit. I would not be surprised if the old shareholders (especially the Mol family) could keep a small shareholding to benefit from potential future successes.

        PS – Szafnauer also stated: “all jobs will be preserved”. This would then include Perez/Ocon. But I can imagine that Stroll swaps with either of them later this season.

        1. That’s not quite how it works. When they say all jobs are preserved, in this context it would mean two racing driver jobs. The people who do those jobs are largely irrelevant to the role.

          Anyway, it wouldn’t surprise me if the drivers aren’t counted as employees. They’re almost certainly independent business contracted to drive for the team. Hence why all these ‘businesses’ tend to be based in Monaco.

    9. Hugely mixed feelings – pleased the team has been saved but sad it was Stroll.

      Also now concerned for Williams, as losing the Martini title sponsorship and the Stroll’s money in one go can’t be good. What if in saving Force India we’re watching Williams go down the same route?

      1. My thoughts exactly.

      2. It’s a tough one but if you’re relying on a pay driver to continue existing as a business, you’ve already got one foot in the grave. Their steady decline since 2014 has been alarming.

        2014: 320 points
        2015: 257 points
        2016: 138 points
        2017: 83 points
        2018 (half way through): 4 points

        I don’t know what I think of this but what if the best thing for the team is to get in a situation similar to Force India? Toto Wolff said there were “many potential buyers with deep pockets” interested in Force India so perhaps one of them would be able to turn things around for the team? If nothing changes, I can’t see how they’ll still be around in 10 years.

        It’d be sad to lose the Williams name in F1 (if that ended up happening) but I tend to look past names anyway. Benneton/Renault/Lotus are Enstone… BAR/Honda/Brawn/Mercedes are Brackley. Jordan/Marussia/Virgin/Force India are Silverstone. If it was any other sport, you’d have new owners all the time but you wouldn’t change the team’s name. Unless someone buys a team and implements a brand new car design and factory (like BAR did when they bought Tyrrell), it’s the same team.

        1. And in the years before 2014:

          2010: 69
          2011: 5
          2012: 76
          2013: 5

        2. Yes, steady decline, and the thing is they had both decent, if not good drivers like massa and bottas in, if I recall, 2014, 2015, 2016, then they started replacing their currently best driver for a pay driver, stroll in 2017, and then they replaced their current best driver left for another pay driver, sirotkin in 2018, so goodbye to extracting the maximum (or close to) performance potential.

          Massa looks like he even wanted to stay for another year, so terrible decision (I said it at the time), and as bad as williams car is, at least 7-10 tenths of that gap is due to subpar drivers.

        3. Jordan/Marussia/Virgin/Force India

          I thought is was Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India and Virgin/Marussia/Manor (Banbury)
          @petebaldwin

          PS and Tyrrell proceeded BAR

          1. @coldfly Correct – it was late at night and I ballsed that post right up! :D

            Tyrrell and BAR is questionable though. They didn’t just re-badge things like most takeovers, they started in a new factory, a new engine, with a new car (not an evolution of the Tyrrell design and not designed by Tyrrell staff) and new drivers.

            Using the “other sports” analogy, it feels more like Wimbledon’s takeover when they became MK Dons….

          2. I tend to think of Virgin/Marussia/Manor as (Dinnington) to avoid confusion with Haas (Banbury; as in, they literally took over the lease of the Virgin/Marussia/Manor HQ), and also because I have fond memories of occasionally visiting the little Dinnington base next door to a steel merchant to bring cake and little messages of support…

    10. Great news, 400 jobs saved, simple as that. What happens now is for responsible adults to vote on the prize money without making a ‘power move’ and the team can get on with doing what it’s done so well. I don’t think Force India ‘overspent thus overachieved, thus cheated’.

      Circumstances fell as they did, they didn’t cheat, they got squeezed into a corner, where it took an employee to force change. F1 is more fun the more teams we have.

      If all creditors are going to be paid, then this is the best outcome out of a pretty terrible situation.

      1. *Second best if we consider the reality where Lance is going to be plodding about in a competitive car doing nothing for at least a year or two. But again, beggars don’t choose.

      2. Besides, the rule is designed for two totally different sets of circumstances (it’s to stop fly-by-night companies getting in by buying a reputable team, and also to stop companies going bust and then having the exact same people attempt to continue the team having changed only the name). At no point did Force India go bust. The Strolls clearly are not a fly-by-night entity.

        Unfortunately Williams’ own financial travails may force it to vote against the common-sense decision here.

        1. @alianora-la-canta, kudos to you for ‘bringing cake and little messages of support’ to Virgin/Marussia/Manor.

          Do you have a link to the rules regarding prize money? I’ve seen it in the past but cannot find it anymore.
          Are you sure it stops when in administration or only when in receivership/bankruptcy?

          1. The trouble I have with this is my set of the rules which states this is the by-now-very-outdated Racefax 2005 leaked release. The relevant section is Article 6 of Schedule 10 of the Concorde Agreement. Warning: long quote ahead, my additions in [ ] quotes:

            If any of the twenty cars (in respect of which a competitor would be entitled to a payment under Clauses 3.1 (c) and 5 and to transport under Clause 4 together a “Benefit”) fail for any reason whatsoever to participate in any given Event the Benefit in respect thereof shall be paid and/or provided for such Event only to the next highest competitor(s) in the FIA Fl Championship for the previous two seasons; [no race, no payment – but FIF1 will do all races, so not relevant here]

            (b) a Benefit shall only be payable and/or provided to a competitor to the
            extent that the chassis of the car entered by it retains the same name
            as that used by such competitor for such chassis during the two
            previous half seasons save and except that a competitor shall be
            entitled to change the name of the chassis of its competing car
            without losing its entitlement to a Benefit provided that the new
            chassis name is a chassis name previously used on a car competing
            for that competitor in any FIA Fl World Championship season since
            1981; [basically: the Strolls can’t rename the team in 2018, except for the sponsor bit, so they could for example call it “Team Stroll Force India” but not yet “Team Stroll”]

            (c) A Benefit (or the entitlement thereto) may be transferred (but only in
            its entirety) by a competitor provided that [note: this means that the “core” company that receives Force India’s rights was sold, otherwise there’d be nothing to vote on because splitting the company that officially receives the rights automatically loses the team those rights]:

            (i) the name of the chassis (solely to the extent that the same
            pertains to the FIA F1 Championship and being as shown on the
            Application to the FIA for the period during which the Benefit accrued)
            is transferred permanently or irrevocably (other than by way of loan,
            ease or licence) and continues to be used by the transferee with
            respect to its competing car [so it has to be called VJM-xx until next year at least]; and

            (ii) the name of any chassis may only be transferred once during
            any five year period [last chassis name change for Force India was in 2008, so that’s a non-issue]; and

            (iii)the shareholders, directors and officers of the transferee are in
            any way directly or indirectly associated with or involved with (and
            have never been so associated or involved) the transferor [I think this was the clause added to stop bad actors potentially setting up one sham team to replace another]; and

            (iv)the transferor and the transferee have demonstrated to the FIA
            that all such action has been taken and all such documents executed
            as are necessary to give full and proper effect to the transfer referred
            to in this Clause 6(c) under applicable laws [exiting administration should suffice for this – buit note this must happen before the window for 2019 entry closes, which I think happens next month]; and

            (v) the transferor and the transferee have confirmed in writing to
            the FIA that they mutually desire that the Benefit (or the entitlement
            thereto) be transferred [again, exiting administration should do this].

            (d) If the requirements of Clause 6 (c) have not been met with respect to
            any proposed transfer of the name of a chassis, the approval of the
            FIA must be sought and obtained to any proposed transfer [this is where the “all teams have to unanimously agree” bit occurs].

            (e) If the name of a chassis (as defined in Schedule 1) is transferred in
            accordance with this Clause 6, the Benefit due to the transferring
            competitor in respect of that chassis shall apply to the new competitor
            acquiring the chassis as if the new competitor had competed in the
            whole of the previous FIA Fl Championship. [this is how come teams in regular sales don’t have this sort of debate about their prize monies every single time].

            The new(er) rules will surely be different but I doubt the intent has changed.

            It’s how the sale might have been done and/or how the administration might be resolved. If it’s been done certain ways, the vote issue may remain relevant, if it’s happened other ways, it won’t be. @coldfly, you are correct in saying that administration by itself doesn’t cause the problem here. Being in bankruptcy is a definite, absolute no-go for retaining F1 prize rights. Receivership, if it affected the liquidity of the core company, would also be a no-go, but in theory, a receivership that only affected operational subsidaries of the core company receiving the F1 benefit could do so without affecting that ability. It would be a hard theory to put into practise!

            1. Great research and response, @alianora-la-canta; thank you.
              We need more contributors like you on this site (@keithcollantine/@dieterrencken).

    11. Unclear whether new owners will get Force India prize money from last season. All the talk was that their takeover was dependent on it, so do we think this is going ahead?

      1. Do not know the local laws, but if I understand correctly they come out of administration because all debts are paid in full. So no bankruptcy and no reason to have any doubt about price money, it is ‘just’ a change of ownership now is it not?

        1. Previously F1Fanatic fan in Atlanta
          8th August 2018, 13:13

          A change in ownership triggers a change in the money as well I believe. Think that is why a few teams held on to older names beyond when the previous name made sense, but there may be a time frame involved on a name change as well

        2. @mosquito @gabf1 Paying all debtors is one way out of administration, and is the one that has been taken here. (In the UK, there’s also an option to exit by agreeing a reduction of debt and a payment schedule, known as a CVA, which Marussia/Manor used back in 2015).

          If it’s been done properly, prize money should carry over. But “if” is a long word in F1.

    12. Look, obviously I’m relieved if the team will be alright, but I don’t think Stroll F1 team is good for the fans, especially if it means 15–20 years of Lance driving.

      Where does this leave Williams next year? They’ll lose Stroll, presumably, which of course I’m not sorry about but a pathetic car and no money means they could end up in ruins pretty fast. From what I heard they were planning to rely on Bank of Stroll for at least a few more years

      1. How many teams will Stroll Snr have to buy to keep Lance in a seat for 15-20 years!? I reckon they’d put a good 4 or 5 out of business….

        1. Not that I know any facts on their future but certainly Williams losing Martini is not news for them as they had already spoken on that several months ago and seemed prepared for it. And I’m sure Stroll’s investment in FI is something Williams has known about too. I also think Lance is likely a much better driver than his cars have allowed. Of course I could be wrong, but what we do know for a fact is that drivers are coloured by their cars and Lance’s have been terrible. Sounds like he’s going to get a chance to show us more in what I presume will be a much better car next year than he will have had so far in F1. If he continues to struggle in a much better car, and lags behind his teammate in said better car, then I’ll be more on board with the naysayers than I have been so far.

    13. So Looks like Stroll has a few stipulations before he invested… Certainly he would pushed for Force India to adapt a model like Haas that means more Mercedes parts on the car. Williams was too proud to switch to such a model and surely that is what lead to Stroll shopping somewhere else for his son.

      1. @david-beau not necessarily. Why change a successful business without even having looked at how it works from the inside? It’s big money and they’re surely wiser than that. I bet the only obvious thing that will change at first is the driver line-up…

    14. Force Canada… appoint Jacques Villeneuve as Sporting Director!!!

      1. Yeah, he always knows better, so let him proof it in real life!

      2. Unlikely given his strong criticism of stroll. Plus I doubt he’d be up to the task. I enjoy him as a commentator and that’s where I’d like him to stay :)

    15. I have written previously that I did not much rate Lance much as a driver and that it must be his ability to bring sponsorship money that got him the drive at Williams. This is nothing new. Many times I have noted his attitude and demeanor during interviews as arrogant unpleasant and uninviting not to mention some of the things he has said over the radio about the car and wondered why Williams have kept him. I appreciate things have not been great at Williams. But little did I know that daddy was a multi-billionaire which kinda explains everything. I wish the Force India team good luck and suspect we will see Lance in there next year.

    16. Horrible news for the sport.. too bad there wasn’t a manufacturer to step in. If they don’t step in now, they won’t step in with the new engine formula either. This was a big opportunity.

      Lance Stroll is probably the worst driver I have seen in F1 in the last ten years. He’s solely there because of his daddy’s bank account and has absolutely nothing to offer on sportive grounds. The sport needs to get rid off these rich kids and get raw talent in the cars. Like MotoGP does.

      Instead, Lance will never disappear anymore.. nothing can stop him from ending his career at Stroll F1 but a severe crash.

      1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
        7th August 2018, 23:40

        @spafrancorchamps

        The sport needs to get rid off these rich kids and get raw talent in the cars. Like MotoGP does.

        A team like Force India, Williams or Sauber could field an entire grid of MotoGP teams with their F1 budget. That’s more the problem. Bring costs back down to earth, and prize money leveled slightly and you’ll see backmarkers move away from the worst of the worst pay drivers.

      2. Worst in the last 10 years? Stroll is slow but there have been slower. ryo haryanto, will stevens, max chilton, narain karthikeyan…

        1. I rate all those drivers well above lance other than Rio

          1. Yep me too.

      3. The sport needs to get rid off these rich kids and get raw talent in the cars.

        Isn’t it the responsibility of Liberty Media to deal with this sort of problem? They want F1 to be a credible racing series, so they will take steps to ensure this is so. Mind you, Lance was first in the European F3 series in 2016, and 5th in 2015, so, since I know little about what the criteria to drive in F1 is, I guess he does have the credentials to be in F1.
        Now that Laurence Stroll has his hand on an actual team he will be thinking in terms of investment, profit, loss, and liabilities. Has Laurence put Lance in charge of any of his companies? Not according to Lance’s Wikipedia entry, so it looks as though Laurence knows the limits of Lance’s abilities. So while I can see him wanting a place in the team for Lance, I don’t see Lance driving for the team with impunity.

        1. @drycrust Stroll bought his path since the beginning, with so much money you always have the best machinery. So I’m not sure about said credentials, even if obviously he’s a better driver than us all.

        2. @drycrust Promotion of talent is a Liberty issue, removing insufficiently good drivers is technically a FIA issue (and so far is enforced by FIA regulations to the extent that any such rules exist). Winning F3 has always been sufficient to get into F1 by FIA regulations, on every version it has used. On such fencing limits such ambitions will falter.

    17. A little concerning that the Strolls have got their fingers in more pies, but a great team survives and that’s the most important thing.

    18. A lot of speculation about drivers moving around, but not much mention of their existing contractual obligations.

      Someone asked why another manufacturer didn’t move in on this. Possibly because the 2021 rules are not set. Possibly because the team is contracted to run another manufacturer’s engine. Possibly because a manufacturer would want to own the team outright rather than be a shareholder.

      I am sure that HaasF1 is watching closely to see if any drivers are suddenly looking for a seat. HaasF1 could be seen as a step up for Ocon as things presently stand.

    19. stop dissing Lance he won 11 races in his F3 championship winning year before he went to Williams, he is not a bad racer its just the car hasn’t been up to much, lets see how the team evolves maybe Lance will show everyone what his is capable of.

      People are allowed opinions, but I do wish before they speak they know what they are talking about, its probably the same people having a dig at Stoffel who won the F2 championship in 2015, these are drivers who deserve to be where they are, and to take a point that Max has not won a lower formula championship he finished 3rd in his F3 year and then was taken under red bulls wing

      1. I think the facts speak for themselves with stroll. Bought his own team in f3, spent so much money paying williams to engineer that f3 car that f3 series had to make a rule changes to prevent massive cost escalation. Gets into f1 and does more testing than any other driver in the last 10 years. Unlimited simulator time at williams during his f3 season, uses old williams cars for track testing (at least 8 f1 tests before or during his debut f1 season) and still slower to massa who was not top driver anymore in the sport. All through the debut year stroll showed no signs of improvement either. In the end stroll was not hired by williams to drive their f1 cars. Williams was hired by stroll to provide an f1 seat for him as long as the money keep flowing. If stroll and massa had bought equal amounts of money which one do you think williams would have chosen?

        Truly a rags to riches story right there. Hard work and sacrifices. Those and the 80 million other reasons can make anything possible.

        1. Beat me to it.

          Fact is though, despite all that, Stroll money has been good for F1

        2. @socksolid He didn’t buy his own F3 team, The Prema team he drove for when he won the championship had been in the series for several years & existed in other categories such as Formula Renault since the early 2000’s.

          There were some Williams engineer’s at the team but that’s no different to how a lot of other teams operate there junior driver programs. There were Mclaren people involved in ART when Hamilton was driving for them (They were even involved when he was in British Formula Renault), Various Ferrari academy drivers had Ferrari engineering staff in there F3/GP2 teams & also got time on the Ferrari simulator & time in Ferrari F1 cars. Complaining about Stroll/Williams for this while ignoring other teams doing the same is hypocritical.

          With regards to Stroll not showing improvement through 2017, Hard to do when the car is getting worse. Look at Massa, He was regular solidly in the top 10 early in the year but was struggling to make Q3 by the end.. And let us not forget Stroll’s brilliant front row start at Monza in a very wet/challenging qualifying session……Conditions which tend to bring out & highlight pure driver skill/ability with good drivers able to drive around a bad car in those conditions.

          1. Stroll’s wet weather flair is not the one of a champion, it’s the only thing he’s good at, that and starts.

            Watch barrichello’s performance in the wet, he was awesome, would you call him a top driver? Decent, average, sure, but not top.

            And you had top drivers who weren’t good in the wet, like hakkinen, or who didn’t like risking and therefore were much slower they could’ve been, like prost.

            1. Not defending Stroll, but being decent and average is all that’s asked of him if he also brings enough money for the team to survive and move forward. I’m against the argument that all pay drivers should go period. There always were pay drivers in this sport and there’s nothing wrong with it. In this sense being an average driver is fine. Will be interesting to see how he fares against Perez.

            2. We can add Vettel to the list of Greats who are/were poor in the rain.

          2. Stroll’s wet weather performance is the only thing that makes me reserve judgement on him as a driver. Little can be gauged by this year with how bad the Williams car has been

            1. @jureo Don’t know how you ca say that Vettel is poor in the rain, Yes he made the mistake in Hockenheim but even the best wet weather drivers such as Senna, Schumacher & Hamilton have made (At times silly looking) errors in the wet (Lewis spun 4 times during the wet 2009 Chinese Gp for example).

              Most of Vettel’s early stand out performances came in the wet, Running 3rd in Fuji ’07, Finishing 4th in China ’07, His 1st pole/win at Monza ’08, Passing Lewis when the rain began again in Brazil ’08, His 1st RBR win at China ’09 among others.

            2. @stefmeister
              Well struggling this year can very well be down to the car, and last race down to lack of confidence.

              But no great was really greatly poor in the rain. They were just not spectacular…

              Vettel clearly is no RegenMeister or wet wonder kid, or simply a Senna, he aint not Hamilton either.

              Hamilton I think is the best wet driver currently on the grid. Vettel while being a great driver, does not stand out in his wet performance.

              You cannot say on a given weekend, oh rain is falling Vettel is gonna be easily gaining ground on whatever position he was at.

        3. Don’t look over the fact that Stroll Sr was also paying for all of his team mates drives that year in F3, and they all had “no battling” clauses in their deals. Look up the amount of Prema 1-2-3-4’s there were that year and see that Stroll Jr was rarely challenged.

    20. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “daddy daycare”…

    21. Law: “Lance, I bought you a present for your 20th birthday!”
      Lan: “What is it, dad?”
      Law: “I wanted to keep it a secret untill october 29th, but the news will probably have leaked long before.”
      Lan: “Don’t keep me in the dark, dad. What is it?
      Law: “A Formula 1 team!”
      Lan: “Great! Which team? ”
      Law: “Force India.”
      Lan: “Oh drat. How do you expect me to become World Champion in a Force India?! Couldn’t you have bought Ferrari?”

      1. Sorry, son, that costs more money than I have!

        1. “Can’t you just get more money then?!”

      2. “Well, with a bit of investment, maybe this team can… …and if not, we can buy Mercedes for your 25th or something”

    22. Good news, at least 405 people keep their jobs and will continue to collect their salaries.
      Hopefully Williams is not the next team to enter into administration.

      1. I hope the same. We need 10 strong teams and for F1 people to be able to depend on being able to pay their grocery bills.

    23. Perhaps I’ve been lived under a rock, but any insight why people doesn’t like Stroll’s investment?

      1. Because of the perception that Lance Stroll has been mollycoddled into F1 by his Dad without any merit and at the expense of more talented drivers. There can be no doubt that Stroll senior has been a $ignificant factor in Lance’s career.

        However, the fact that FI keep their place, jobs are saved and debts settled for creditors, this can only be a good thing. Therefore its a mixed response to this investment, as you will no doubt see in the comments.

        1. Force India, until the name changes, has been pulled from the brink and given a life-line that on the surface, appears to be solid, substantial and sustainable, if anything is sustainable in F1. You would think that folks would be rejoicing in the knowledge that the team will continue and not just close the doors. Whether it winds up as a B team or not, it is still in business and gets to complete the season and look forward to the next. Cheers all round.
          Say what you like about Stroll Sr. he is a business man and he didn’t get to where he is by relying on luck or other people. To do this in the Canadian environment is a further credit to his acumen.

          As noted above ….
          “The latter includes Stroll’s business partner Silas Chou, Canadian businessman Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of management advisory firm Monaco Sports and Management, chairman of Michael Kors fashion brand John Idol, telecommunications investor John McCaw Jnr and Engel & Völkers vice chairman Michael de Picciotto.”

          This isn’t a group of fly-by-night folks tossing money around. They are astute and successful business types that can also take advantage of the promotional and advertising platform that is the basis for any and all successful F1 ventures. To quote a movie line … “what makes the rockets go up? Funding makes the rockets go up. No bucks, no Buck Rogers”. Same for F!, funding.
          This is more than a bail-out or a simple investment in the FI team, it looks more like the Benneton and the Red Bull platform that has been reasonably successful. Own the team, run the team and be your own title sponsor.
          Williams is a family run business and Stroll couldn’t buy into the team in any long term way. Force India is that opportunity….. and, more importantly, we get to see 10 teams on the grid this year and likely for next.
          Let’s see how this plays out, my bet is it will be awesome.

      2. Because there were 5 credible buyers, apparently, and some of them would have preferred different buyers. For myself, I want whichever one is the best for Force India, and I trust the administrators to have selected correctly.

    24. Anything to get that slimy weasel VJ out. Hopefully they retain one of the current drivers.

      1. I thought ‘slimy weasel’ created Force India?

        1. He bought it, ironically to prevent Spyker from going bust back in 2007.

      2. Slimy weasel he may be, for better or worse he loved this team to death.

    25. This is of course very good news for the people that work at FI and also for F1 not to lose their 10th team on the grid.

      Williams will probably be next.

    26. I think people are forgetting that it’s not just Lawrence Stroll but a consortium of investors. FI’s management was also involved in the selection process.

      I’d be surprised if all the other investors (and indeed FI management) readily agreed to Lance being a driver and suggest that him driving for FI would be far from a “done deal” from a purely economic standpoint.

      One of the reasons FI sits so high on the constructors points table is that they have always had two high caliber drivers that generally maximise the points on offer for the midfield teams.

      Constructors points = dollars.

      Why would a team even consider sacrificing one driver if doing so has the potential to drop them way down the constructors table.

      It’s different for Williams -they don’t have far to fall. FI do.

      Investors are not prone to growing money away, so my guess is they’ll want the best available drivers to provide a return on investment and I doubt they all believe that Lance would be one of them.

      Let’s see what the next few weeks reveal.

      1. Darn. “Throwing money away” not “growing money away”…. oh for an edit button.

      2. Actually, Lance being a driver for FI is already a “done deal” and makes complete sense to all shareholders from a purely economic standpoint. Why? Because Lawrence will be buying a seat for Lance at “Force Canada”, just like he did at Williams. In addition, Lance will be providing capital for the team, just like all of the other new shareholders (investors).

    27. Where does that leave Williams?

    28. Ocon, Sainz, (Potentially Perez, Romain, Ericsson) both looking for seats next year….

      If you where a driver and had your choice, which team would you choose? (Can’t choose Redbull, Ferrari, Merc, FI)

    29. This means Stroll going to the pink team (probably Perez to leave). I hope Williams give Kubica a chance. What do they have to lose?

      I say he would have had points on the board this year if he was racing. Even one handed he can beat the Williams drivers.

    30. You have to admire the business smarts of Lawrence Stroll because this is a perfect opportunity
      1 prize money will be saved
      2 f1’s prize money structure will change in the next few years
      3 being merc b team will help keep the competitive advantage in the midfield and help avoid swings of fortune that plague a team like Williams or Sauber. Thus more attractive for sponsorship.

      And the bonus is his kid gets to develop more as a driver
      I think Lawrence will make money at this!

    31. This is awesome news. This will set them up for the new prize/money structure perfectly.

    32. @vjanik People keep saying that Robert would be faster than Stroll/Sirotkin, Yet he hasn’t exactly outshone either of them on the occasions he’s actually been in the car running the same spec as them.

      Let’s not forget that Sirotkin got the drive over Robert in the first place because he was faster in the Abu Dhabi test days. I know people like to try & claim that wasn’t the case & that it was all money but it wasn’t just Williams saying that Sirotkin looked faster, Everyone that was at the track & following the Williams runs closely were saying that Sirotkin looked the better of the two.

      In Austria when Robert was last in the car & running an identical spec to the 2 race drivers he was slower & was in fact in 20th & last place at the end of FP1.

      At no point has Robert ever looked faster than either Stroll or Sirotkin when running the same specification car. He’s struggled just as badly as Lance & Sergey have & been right at the back of the field.

      People need to start looking at where Robert is now & not where he was before his accident because it is clear that he isn’t anywhere close to been as good as he was then unfortunately & no amount of wishing is going to alter that sad fact.

    33. If this gets Kubica rightfully back in a full time drive with Williams next year, I’m all for it!

      1. Likewise …. no one is pulling for Kubica more than I.
        One relatively small but potentially significant item is an insurance payout that covered off RK and the “ending” of his F1 career.
        As I understand, should he turn a wheel in a race, all of it is due to be repaid. An amount touted to be millions (euros, pounds, $$$, doesn’t much matter) would be needed to settle the account. Not unlike what Lance Armstrong went through following his cancer issue. Hence the need for a full season commitment rather than any one-off race deal.
        Here’s hoping that the opportunity presents itself. Certainly the silly season is looking o get …. spectacular.

    34. Force India has a good car, good management, good technical people. The owners just didn’t have the cash to support it. Now with new ownership the team can continue and improve.
      If part of the deal gives Lance a better car that is OK with me. He won’t be able to blame the car. He will need to perform or he will be out. His dad is not stupid. He is a dad that is able to let his son “live his dream”, but that will have limits if Lance doesn’t pull his weight.
      Rich kid or not, Lance does have talent and some F1 experience behind him. He will need to prove to his team that he deserves to be there. If he can do that and they get confidence in Lance, and he his confidence in his team (it goes both ways), this will be a good move for him. Being the owner’s son does not make that easier.

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