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GP Week : Issue 177a
F1 >>> NEWS FORCE INDIA TO INVEST £50 MILLION IN THEMSELVES With the battle for mid-field supremacy growing tighter with every passing season, the fight to stay in the points is becoming ever more expensive. As part of their bid to remain competitive, Force India have announced a sizeable self-investment for 2013. “We had a board meeting in India after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the board has approved a £50 million capital investment programme for the team,” team principal Vijay Mallya explained. “We are going to invest heavily in new technology and give more tools to our design team to try and move further up the grid. “Looking back at the season so far, we have every reason to feel proud. We’ve scored more points than in any previous season and every year we’ve demonstrated that we’ve gone up the ladder. And we’ve taken fairly significant steps, not just baby steps. Given the tools that we have, which are mostly of the Jordan era, we have done exceptionally well.” The timing of Force India’s self-investment is interesting. First and foremost, the fact that Mallya and partner Subrata Roy Sahara have chosen to pour funds into their Formula One team at a time when both of their businesses are facing well-documented financial difficulties necessitating substantial outlay underscores their commitment to F1. Mallya’s woes are well-documented, and despite the recent sale of a 53 percent in United Spirits Ltd to global booze giants Diageo, the problems surrounding Kingfisher Airlines continue unabated. Sahara’s eponymous group is in the process of repaying investors $3 billion plus interest at the behest of India’s financial regulator. While £50 million is pocket change when compared with the monies owed by Sahara and Mallya’s other businesses, it represents a sizeable investment in a time of strife. But it is a necessary investment. Much of Force India’s improvement in recent years has come about as a direct result of its technology partnership with McLaren, an agreement that expires at the end of this year. McLaren will not be renewing their deal with the Silverstone racers, so if Force India hope to maintain – or improve upon – their current level of competitiveness, they will need to invest heavily to make up for the sizeable loss of the partnership. The winners of our GPWEEK/Casio subscription competition have been drawn – each will win a superb Casio Premium Edifice wristwatch. The five lucky subscribers are: John Edwards, Maria Ricketts, Gavin Dumas, Phillip Livingstone and Alan Cunningham We will be in touch with you shortly, via your registered email address. GPWEEK/Casio competition winners 9 GPWEEK.com // 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: