Ian Phillips leaves Force India after 19 years

Force India’s director of business affairs, Ian Phillips, has left the team. He had been with them since they entered their first F1 race as Jordan in 1991.

A statement issued by the team said:

In 1990 Ian moved to the new 7-Up Jordan team as commercial manager, beginning a lifelong friendship with Eddie Jordan. He has been with the team ever since working on the commercial side with major deals including 7-Up, Sasol, Benson & Hedges, Deutsche Post World Net and hundreds of smaller ones. The team would like to wish Ian every success in his future endeavours.

It is not clear what Phillips has moved on to. He previously worked as a journalist and had provided the commentary for some practice sessions on the BBC last year.

Although the parting seems to be amicable there was a problem last year when the team refuted remarks made by Phillips to the BBC. He had said Ferrari would request Force India to release Giancarlo Fisichella to drive for them at Monza before the announcement had been made public.

It’s the team’s second major departure this year: last month technical director James Key revealed he was leaving the team to join Sauber.

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11 comments on Ian Phillips leaves Force India after 19 years

  1. Untitled258 said on 5th March 2010, 16:29

    Any news on if he will be working with the BBC this year? I found him and Maurice unbearable to listen to compared to Crofty and Ant.

    • Mark Hitchcock said on 5th March 2010, 17:24

      I thought he had some quite interesting things to say.
      No-one’s as good as Crofty and Ant though!

    • Icthyes said on 5th March 2010, 19:46

      The problem with Phillips was the same as Davidson last year – far too biased towards their own teams.

      However, since both will be independent this year, maybe that one annoyance will disappear.

  2. HounslowBusGarage said on 5th March 2010, 20:00

    I was trying to place him, but as soon as Untitled258 mentioned him in relation to BBC practice coverage, I had him!
    I thought it was great to have a ‘team executive’ talking regularly on the practice sessions and really talking, not just the PR based “we are moving forward and the team is working well, for sure” kind of drivel. Sometimes he was upbeat, sometimes less so. But I thought that having the voice of the underdog team on the practice sessions was invaluable.
    I hope he will be picked by another team and carries on with the BBC coverage of the practice sessions.

  3. Sauber and a few other temas could definitely do with his experience at bringing in sponsors!

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 6th March 2010, 10:31

    Force India posted a link to their story on Phillips leaving on their Twitter account, using bit.ly to auto-shorten the link. Unfortunately the link came out as:

    http://bit.ly/9ICUNT

    That’s pretty unlucky! They’re apologising for it on Twitter at the moment:

    http://twitter.com/clubforce/statuses/10068348970

    • DanThorn said on 6th March 2010, 10:43

      Haha, whoops! You’d have thought that there would be measures in place to stop that kind of thing…evidently not!

      • I know TinyURL had some problems with their link shortening service, when people used obscene-sounding combinations of letters to link to the official web pages of people like George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. Bit.ly evidently haven’t taken the hint.

  5. Plink Plonk Plunk said on 6th March 2010, 17:14

    Two major departures at Force India before the 1st round. Do you think there’s more to this story than we’re being told?

    I remember last year when he stated Ferrari would request Fisichella, then Vejay said something like he didnt have the right to speak for the team and I thought that was a bit odd.

    Wonder if this has been coming for some time and what the morale is like within the team.

  6. Mark Watson said on 7th March 2010, 17:29

    Well it seems that there was a big falling out last year with his boss (VJM) and he was side lined for the rest of the season. This was a strange thing to do to your commercial manager. But phillips is very well know for his old school hard drinking and rarely seen without a cigarette in his mouth, always chassing the ladies as well.
    May be his time has come as the sport is a lot more buiness like these days.
    May be his wife and Mr Kingfisher had had enough of thing and his wings got cliped.
    The BBC can find much better pundits (Davidson) is much better and insightful,with great technical info and a better perspectiv of the drvers veiws!

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