Force India deny reports of financial problems

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Force India factoryIn the round-up: Force India deny they are seeking an financial rescue package.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

La Force India smentisce voci di crisi (ItaliaRacing, Italian)

Force India denied claims made by ItaliaRacing that Bernie Ecclestone had intervened to help support Force India after they ran into financial problems. However ItaliaRacing said they stood by their story.

Force India won’t name driver at launch (Autosport)

“Force India says it is not planning to announce its second driver in time for the launch of its 2013 car.”

Codemasters confirms job losses, but doesn’t expect Grid 2 and F1 series will be affected (Eurogamer)

“A spokesperson for the company told us ‘it is not anticipated’ that development of core PC and console games, such as Grid 2 and the annual F1 series, will be affected.”

??A man of great courage and vision??: F1 community remembers Sid Watkins (James Allen on F1)

“Sir Jackie Stewart, FIA president Jean Todt, Damon Hill and Ron Dennis were among the hundreds who braved the snowy sub-zero conditions to celebrate the life of a great man.”


Comment of the day

Thoughts on testing from Lee_GH:

Something I think is worth pointing out regarding testing is that just about every racing category on the planet has begun to either ban or severely limit testing over the past five to six years so the testing restrictions are not just an F1 thing.

On the whole I actually think the testing ban has been good for F1, Its prevented those who can afford to test gaining massive advantages over those who can?t.

Ross Brawn said a few years back that the biggest advantage Ferrari had in the early 2000s over other teams was that they did twice as much testing as any other team. He even spoke about how in late 2003 they had Luca Badoer and Felipe Massa testing during F1 race weekends in order to catch up to Williams, McLaren and Renault who had pulled ahead of them.

Something to consider also now is tyres. People complained last year how races got boring when everyone figured out how to use the tyres, Well bring in testing and they would figure out the tyres a lot sooner so we may end up seeing more boring races.

Also everyone praised Sauber last year for having a good car and maintaining it throughout the season, If testing was allowed and the big teams were able to spend days testing and Sauber was unable to spend money on testing they likely would have been well behind by mid-season, Something that was often seen with mid-field teams when we had testing.

Based on following F1 for about 35 years I can pretty much guarantee that bringing testing back would see the gaps between teams rise again and that midfield teams would once again be a few seconds off the front runners which would only hurt the quality of the racing.

Also its not as if we actually get to see anything from testing anyway, I?d much rather all the focus be put on the race weekends which are after all way more important.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to MarkG!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

On this day 55 years ago Stirling Moss scored the first victory for Cooper cars and Climax engines in the 1958 Argentinian Grand Prix. It was also the first win for a rear-engined car.

Moss led home Luigi Musso’s Ferrari by 2.7 seconds, with the other Ferrari of Mike Hawthorn a further ten seconds behind.

Read yesterday’s ‘On this day’ article on another Argentinian Grand Prix here:

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  • 36 comments on “Force India deny reports of financial problems”

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      19th January 2013, 1:00

      Very glad that the Birmingham branch of Codemasters isn’t going to be affected by redundancies.
      I know that a lot of people give them flak because they think their F1 series isn’t realistic enough. Which is fair enough. But I that think by in large; Codemasters have done a world of good for Formula 1.

      1. To be honest, I’ve lost a lot of respect for Codemasters because of what they’ve done to both the Colin McRae and Race Driver series. Also the lack of evolution (or even just meaningful progress on problems like bugs) on the F1 games stinks of a developer who are content just to cash in on a series year after year.

        1. Did the race driver series exist before grid? Personnaly I love grid and find it’s actually very realistic in terms of how a car handles. With the rewind function you can see what you did wrong on a corner and make the slight adjusments required to not crash. Ok the damage may not be accurate but the steering, handling, braking and acceleration are very well refined.

          I’m not so happpy with F1 2011 which I recently bought for 6GBP. It doesn’t feel accurate at all, I can win every race on legendary, I don’t have to bother with practice and I set a time that will guarantee me pole position within 3 laps (although it’s almost always my first lap.) I can get away with cutting corners, using full lock when in reality that would make you crash instantly and the AI never put up an interesting fight. I’m good at racing in real life and pretty good on racing games but I shouldn’t be able to become world champion in my first season with Williams, when the only tracks I really new well were Spa, Monaco, Nurburgring and Canada – I’m not that good!

          1. The “Race Driver” tagline goes back to 2002 and was what designated the 2nd generation TOCA games from the 1st.

            The 1st gen (TOCA 1, 2 & 3) mainly featured the BTCC and it’s support series (Formula Ford, etc). These were more straight up racing games. The 3rd one was also released as “Jarrett & Labonte Stock Car Racing” in the USA with Jarrett being ‘Jason Jarrett’ (the son of NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett) & the Labonte being ‘Justin Labonte’ (the son of NASCAR driver Terry Labonte) both of which never really accomplished much in American racing & there was no “Stockcars” in the game, talk about a misleading title haha.

            The 2nd gen (TOCA Race Driver 1, 2 & 3) was introduced in 2002 and featured more racing series and the main career mode was basically a story-mode where you took control of a fictional driver & tried to work your way up through the various series, you would have cutscenes from rivals throughout. TRD3 is my personal favorite out of all the Codemasters racing games. In Germany these games carried a DTM title & in Australia they carried the Aussie V8 title instead of the TOCA title.

            The 3rd gen started with Race Driver: GRiD, which while it carried the Race Driver branding most of us diehard 2nd gen fans (and I think even Codemasters themselves) classify it as the start of the 3rd gen of the TOCA series.

            The one thing that has bugged me the most about the Codemasters racing games over the years is the center rotational axis, where the car would rotate left/right on an axis through the center of the car instead of through the center of the rear-tires. It’s a minute detail that is probaly 100% graphical & not physics related but it’s just always annoyed the heck out of me.

        2. I know what you mean. I fired up Colin McRae Rally 2.0 the other day, and had a lot of fun with it. There are ninety different stages, and each one has a distinct feel to it. Dirt 3, on the other hand, simply uses and reuses the same sections of road over and over again (though the Monte Carlo DLC was fantastic).

          That said, I think both games are very much a product of the time they were made in. Colin McRae Rally 2.0 was made at a time when there was an unpredecented level of manufacturer involvement in the World Rally Championship, and when rallies weren’t limited to repeating a handful of stages over and over again. Dirt 3, on the other hand, came at a time when the series needed a new mascot, and with another studio acquiring the WRC licence, Codemasters needed to expand the game to include rallycross and buggy racing and gymkhana.

          1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            19th January 2013, 2:31

            I fired up Colin McRae Rally 2.0 the other day, and had a lot of fun with it. There are ninety different stages, and each one has a distinct feel to it.

            I know what you mean! I loved that game! I actually quite enjoy f1 2012, it’s a massive step up from its predecessors (Even though they got rid of some important features I.e. Fp1 & 2).

            1. I also love Colin McRae Rally 2.0! Although the Stratos has so much power it’s almost impossible to handle, I think the handling is very realistic – although I’m no rally driver myself :P

    2. Force India’s decision to delay the final driver announcement for the second seat until after Jerez has surprised me. That of course only leaves 8 days for the driver in question to become accustomed to the car (actually likely less than that as they usually alternate between drivers) which surely won’t help them, particularly if the driver is Bianchi (as a rookie of course so he’ll need the experience). I think honestly that it may just be a PR tactic to get people talking about them!

      1. @vettel1 Force India have said that they won’t name their second driver at or before the launch of their 2013 car.

        The first test doesn’t start until 4 days later:-

        Fernley said the timeframe for announcing the team’s second driver was “probably before the first test.”

        Now that doesn’t sound like a certainty either (and I for one find the whole thing very odd, unless the rumours of financial problems are true) but it’s too early at this stage to be sure that Force India won’t have two drivers at the first test.

        1. @tdog – ah, thanks for clearing that up.

    3. I find this delay in Force India’s driver announcement very strange. There must be some very complicated negotiations going on: most plausibly regarding Ferrari engines for 2014 but possibly far more complex than just that.

      It’s getting so late it must surely be affecting their preperations for the season. Could di Resta be their only driver at first test? Doesnt look professional.

      1. As mentioned above in the Roundup, Force India issued this statement today in response to ItaliaRacing and other sites which picked up the story via GMM:

        “Sahara Force India dismisses the rumours that appeared on the internet this morning, which are part of a growing trend of irresponsible online journalism directed at the team.”

        “There is no truth behind claims that the team is in ‘crisis’, which only serve as gossip at a time when news in the Formula One world is limited. It’s also disappointing that the team was not contacted for a response.

        “The team is pushing ahead with the new car build and looking forward to the launch of the 2013 car and new team partnerships.”

        1. Of course they’re going to deny it. When was the last time that a team that was in trouble admitted that they were in trouble?

          1. Admitting or denying are options – staying silent also is one.

            By denying, they will be called liars if the rumours are true. Which I think wouldn’t help mr Mallya and Sahara with their other problems.

            I think it’s a matter of seperating different corporate identities / companies.

            If they’ve made advanced payments for the sponsorships, I think FI indeed could be in good shape.

            Then again, it’s not like they always were 100% thruthful in the past (van der Garde won his case, Caterham/aerolab won their case, they stood behind Sutil and there’ve been several ‘things’ about payments…)

        2. At the end Hulkenberg probably did a good move. At the time of anouncement, it was like leaving a team for another of similar strength of it seems it’s not the same “work conditions”.
          And that surely should affect the second driver who won’t have much time to prepare before the test

    4. While I agree with the COTD, the odd thing about F1 is that the people who drive the cars have no chance to practice and improve their craft. Luca di Montezemolo made that point a while back, and while he said it in the interests of his own team, I think there’s still a good point there. Footballers, golfers, tennis players…they all train and practice what they do in a real world scenario. I know F1 drivers have simulators, but from everything I’ve seen of them I doubt they are a comparable substitute for actually tearing around a track in a car.

      Further to this I often hear how rookies are struggling to adapt to such limited running. Maybe if Romain Grosjean or Pastor Maldonado had more time to explore the limits of their cars and their capabilities, to learn and bond with their machines, they wouldn’t have had so many incidents last season.

      1. I don’t think that’s a valid excuse. The new guys who arrive in Formula 1 should have enough experience in open wheel racing already. Yes, in Formula 1 everything is scaled up; everything is bigger and better. But the same principles of racing apply to it, just as they do in FR3.5, GP2, and all those other open wheel racing classes.

        Besides, teams are allowed to let drivers go around the track outside races. Just not with a modern Formula 1 car. Ferrari is free to let any driver run in an old car (what was it, two years old?), without Pirelli tires. It just doesn’t make much sense, as they can’t get any useful data out of it.

      2. @colossal-squid They can still run 2 years old spec cars thus from the driver point of view that’s getting used to a F1 car and would need only little adaptation for the current car …
        And for Maldonado and Grosjean, that wouldn’t change anything, they know probably beter than Vergne and Ricciardo where is the limit of performance of the car, the problem would be with the dimension of the cars and the cars surrounding. They can’t really have a test with several driver on track for a crowdy start simulation so that Grosjean get used to it.

        1. @jeanrien

          the problem would be with the dimension of the cars and the cars surrounding.
          I don’t think that was the only factor in the incidents Grosjean and Maldonado got involved in this year. Look at when Maldonado hit Perez in Silverstone, he carried too much speed into the corner, ran wide and bashed into Sergio. That looked to me like a driver not fully knowing what his car could and could not do.

          The idea of having them go around in an older car is a good one, but probably prohibitively expensive for the smaller teams. Maybe there should be some kind of rookie academy (financed by all the teams) held on a few weekends throughout the season, or on the Monday after a race where drivers new to F1 (or GP2 drivers) get plenty of time to get accustomed to F1 cars.

      3. @colossal-squid

        the odd thing about F1 is that the people who drive the cars have no chance to practice and improve their craft

        I don’t agree – last year drivers did more than twice as much test and practice mileage as they did in races (those whose teams could afford to attend all the tests did, anyway). And of top of that many of them will have done thousands more laps in incredibly advanced simulators.

        For some drivers that is clearly sufficient. Kimi Raikkonen, for example, chose not to do the Mugello test and it didn’t seem to affect his season negatively.

        If we’re going to ask about drivers not getting enough time to hone their skills when what about GP2 drivers, who surely are in greater need of seat time than more experienced F1 drivers? This year GP2 drivers get just six days of testing and on each race weekend they get just half an hour for practice and the same for qualifying.

        1. For some drivers that is clearly sufficient.

          True, I’m sure that the likes of Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonnen ect have enough experience that practice is to be of limited use, but what of the newer drivers? I’d like to think that someone like Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez, or Bottas would jump at the chance to pound around a track in, say, a 2010 or 2011 spec F1 car.

          You said GP2 drivers get a tiny amount of testing and time in their cars. Is there not a danger that by limiting the time rookies get in F1 or other powerful cars prior to entering F1 they are incredibly underprepared?

    5. Force India’s silence does concern me. But I won’t jump to conclusions just yet. I fear the rumours could be true, it could be the same old story for a departing team in F1, but I hope not. Maybe EJ fancies buying them back :-)

      1. davidnotcoulthard
        19th January 2013, 5:07

        Sahara Jordan Mercedes……..Maybe a 1-2 at Spa? Maybe Di Resta will win a race in spa the same way Hill did with a yellow car?

        1. Is that you, Paul?

    6. The one thing that concerns me is, if there is still plenty of cash in Vijay’s war chest, why sell off “pre-used” car parts?
      Is it for a charity?

      I’ve not heard of any other “well-financed” teams doing this, so I’m not expecting a Sahara Force India team to be here in 2014. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
      And what of the story about our friend Mr Ecclestone giving/loaning Force India cash. Is it just a rumour?

      I remember Bernie “helping out” Willliams, could this be another deal of the same kind?

      1. Good point, however it doesn’t seem like a biggie to me. Why not? It’s no McLaren or Ferrari to protect some image or brand.

    7. It is certainly quite strange for a team to not announce its driver lineup up until now, but I think it is a given that Paul Di Resta is certain to return as driver 1.

      I don’t think FI would be in financial rouble for two reasons. Firstly Sahara owns a substantial portion of SFI and while Kingfisher Airlines and maybe Kingfisher is in trouble, I don’t really think it would affect SFI. The second would be the injection of 50 million claimed by VJM after Abu Dhabi last year. In any case any signs of trouble would only be visible towards the end of the season. Also SFI were the first to announce its car launch date. Still look committed to F1 for the moment.

      1. Exactomundo!

      2. Firstly Sahara owns a substantial portion of SFI and while Kingfisher Airlines and maybe Kingfisher is in trouble, I don’t really think it would affect SFI.

        Sahara are having their own financial and legal problems.

    8. what I don’t get about force India is what is the end game.

      Any venture has to break even or stay profitable or provide some other value greater than money to succeed.

      McLaren, Ferrari, Redbull, Mercedes, Lotus/Renault, Toro Rosso , Marussia, Caterham all make sense.

      In the short term maybe FI is safe, but what happens 2 years from now is a ? .

      Besides prestige and interest, I see not one thing Mallya gains from FI. All of his companies listed on the cat as sponsors gain little to 0 in profit from outside india. He’s just another frank Williams that loves racing ?

    9. I agree with the COTD. The author’s 35 years of experience (my 17-year one pales in comparison) makes it very authentic as well.

      1. @atticus-2, Several fans with equal or greater experience than COTDs author disagree, me for one. The problem with this debate seems to be “no in-season testing versus unrestricted 24/7, multiple drivers/cars testing”
        Obviously totally unrestricted anything is unsustainable but the opposite no-test alternative creates another inequity in that only the wealthiest teams can afford the wind-tunnels, main-frame computers and staff (100+ at Ferrari) that are needed to compensate for lack of testing. Surely a compromise rule that allowed the teams to run 1 test car, 1 day a week (average) between races, on a non F1 track using a test driver would be cheaper than building and running a wind tunnel and would help the smaller teams avoid fitting parts that don’t work during a race weekend.

      2. While I love watching the extra bits during Friday practice, I’m happy with the idea of an extra day added onto a race weekend to allow testing using the new or up and coming drivers.

    10. Fernando Cruz
      19th January 2013, 11:55

      Well, Paul Di Resta wiil be the leading Force India driver in the first half of the year, as he has always been in F1. Even Hulkenberg was beaten until mid-season last year, so I don’t expect Bianchi, Sutil or Senna to do what even Hulkenberg didn’ t do. Furthermore the new race driver (Bianchi/Sutil/Senna) will have worse conditions than those Hulkenberg had last year, due to this delay, even if he is present in time for the first test. Anyway I expect the new driver to be a match for Di Resta almost all year. But Senna will have the aditional advantage of bringing more money and that could be an advantage for the development of the car.

    11. If it does occur that Force India are in trouble, then Nico Hulkenberg’s management team are absolutely brilliant!

    12. Great COTD, couldn’t agree more. Too much testing just serves those with deeper pockets.

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