Esteban Ocon, Force India, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Mazepin still pursuing Force India takeover despite Stroll deal

2018 F1 season

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Dmitry Mazepin has not given up his efforts to purchase the Force India Formula 1 team despite administrators agreeing a rescue package with a consortium backed by Lawrence Stroll.

Mazepain’s company Uralkali has accused the administrators of not acting in the best interests of the team by reaching terms with Stroll and a group of other investors. Both have sons in F1: Mazepin’s son Nikita is a Force India development driver and Stroll’s son Lance races for Williams.

Asked in an interview for RaceFans whether Mazepin still wants to buy the team, Uralkali senior independent director Paul Ostling said: “Absolutely.”

Uralkali is taking legal advice on how to proceed with its objections to how the sale was handled, said Ostling.

“We’re consulting with all of our various advisors, our lawyers. We have an outside general counsel who’s worked with us for years, Debevoise & Plimpton. One of their top lawyers is working with us. We have counsel, we have restructuring advisors. We’ve been trying to figure out with them what are the next steps we have standing to pursue.

“We have spoken with FOM, with Chase [Carey]. We’ve spoken with FIA, with Jean [Todt], and they’re aware of our protest. And our lawyers in consultation with our UK restructuring lawyers have sent a letter of protest as well to the administrator and we’re trying to figure right now what are the proper steps we have standing to protest.”

Uralkali was in talks with Force India about an investment deal before the team went into administration. Ostling said the company also began talks with FOM and FIA about its plans around this time.

“We took a position that given where we were coming from we needed to establish our credibility and we believed from the beginning the only way we could do that was try to be totally transparent and demonstrate total credibility.

“Therefore we reached out to FOM, we talked to them, we met them. We did the same with FIA, we did the same with the administrator. We’ve done that with every stakeholder we could in order to be transparent and we’ve done that from the very beginning of our involvement through yesterday. And we will continue to do that.”

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25 comments on “Mazepin still pursuing Force India takeover despite Stroll deal”

  1. What a sorry state for F1. Now two rich dads are disputing the remnants of a glorious team to feed their spoilt untalented kid. A real shame if you ask me, this is sickening.

    1. Yup, this Force India affair is just highlighting a lot of what is wrong with modern F1. A well run team, who has consistently finished in the top five in the constructor’s championship, is forced into bankruptcy/administration because the cost to complete in F1 is so high, and the prize money payouts are so unfair. Then competitor teams are able to block rescue payments. To top everything off then you have billionaires fighting over Force India, so they’ll have a place for their sons to drive. Drivers who don’t have the talent to be a reserve/test driver, much less a regular F1 driver. If Liberty’s reforms don’t work, in ten years’ time the only people who will be able to become F1 drivers are billionaires’ children. That’s not a championship I’ll have any interest in watching.

      1. @forrest: Great point!

        F1: The Pinnacle of (billionaire) Motorsport

        I’m skeptical that Liberty can do anything long-term other than reduce payments to the teams – Bernie’s used car loan puts a hard limit on equanimity.

      2. AlonsosDigitalCousin
        22nd August 2018, 21:02

        I think Liberty should just say screw it and commit to paying Force India anyway. Will it be breach of contract? Sure! Not one of those three teams has the acorns to try and sue Liberty for breaching contract to rescue a team, even if they have a proper case. And from a PR perspective, this shifts all of the negative PR on the 3 dissenters rather than on Liberty. It’ll be 3 teams trying to screw Force India, not Liberty being unable to rescue them.

    2. It says a lot when motor companies richer than these rich dads are unwilling to buy such a team or even invest effort in setting up a team of their own.

    3. Was just going to comment the same thing, very pleased other people feel the same way. It all looks so desperate too.

      Let’s pray Mazepin and Stroll don’t come to an agreement to co-own the team…

    4. I find it very ironic that the glorious team you talk about was run by an alleged criminal on the permanent brink of extradition before a trial. All of that was allowed to go on by the head of the sport, who himself faced several questionable money-related trials. What a great sport we have! Anything goes here, and anything can happen.

    5. It’s no different to how it was in the 80s and 90s. If anything, this sort of thing was even more rampant back then.

  2. This is what happens when people get to much money. Just put them in a sandbox instead.

  3. Sonny Crockett
    21st August 2018, 19:07

    Mazepin would be the icing on the cake…

    1. Ba dum, and indeed tish!

    2. Oh bravo!

      1. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
        23rd August 2018, 12:04

        You could have raspberries in it…

  4. By bringing in FOM and FIA officials, I fear the Mazepin consortium may have created a risk of there being no Force India at Spa, or anywhere else. We can only hope the consortium is either not taken seriously, or else the powers that be use their discretion to delay treating Force India as fragmented goods until more information arises.

    1. I’m worried that this will lead to claim, counter-claim and court injunctions – and that Force India will disappear.

  5. Perhaps they can reach a compromise. So next we will have Lance and Nikita at FI, or whatever it will be called!

    1. Force Money perhaps.

      1. @minilemm: Brilliant!

        Morphing into Forced Money

    2. “Force Loadsamoney” – ???

    3. Nikita doesn’t qualify for a super licence, so that seems very unlikely.

  6. The Formula One Billion world championship for rich poseurs.

  7. The only winner coming out of Dmitry Mazepin’s camp are his lawyers…seriously…

  8. Don’t know about Stroll, but Mazepin seems very close with Mallya. I rather not have him as a team owner of any F1 team.

    But then I do not know who the senior team member is who is part of the Stroll investment. Could be Mallya as well.

  9. Gerulf Dösinger (@)
    22nd August 2018, 12:28

    I’ve been a fan since ’94. I got up early for every faraway race almost every time. I’ve enjoyed the highpoints and have seen and experienced all the lows F1 had to endure in this time togehter with my fellow fans.

    The COTD sums it all up perfectly, but in this case I have to add…

    This is disgusting.
    If Mazepin and his fistswinging offspring get that deal after such a farce I’ll stop watching F1.

  10. My dad can buy up your dad!

Comments are closed.