You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Mallya can't travel but remains involved in running Force India: Team head

Mallya cannot attend races outside the UK with his passport being revoked and India seeking his extradition

Press Trust of India  |  Singapore 

Vijay Mallya, Westminster Magistrates Court , London, extradition hearing
Former Indian politician and billionaire businessman Vijay Mallya, centre, arrives for his extradition hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London. File photo

Vijay Mallya's off-track troubles have not impacted in any way and he continues to be as involved as ever in the running of the Formula 1 team despite his forced absence from the paddock, said deputy team principal

"Well, communication is never a problem in these times. During the race weekend, we talk every day on the phone. Other times we live 10 minutes away from each other. So no problem there as well," Fernley told PTI on the sidelines of the Singapore Grand Prix.

Mallya cannot attend races outside the UK with his passport being revoked last year and India seeking his extradition.

In his absence, Fernley and COO Otmar Szafnauer are running the show on the ground.

Mallya, on his part, has created a virtual pit wall at his home in the UK to communicate with the team during the race weekends. Spending all his time in England has led to him spending a lot more time at the factory in Silverstone.

"There is no decision that is taken without Vijay's consent. Okay, he cannot travel but he remains as involved as ever in the functioning of the team," said Fernley.

have been punching above their weight consistently and last year finished an unprecedented fourth in the team standings, ahead of Williams, McLaren, and Renault.

This year, they are currently sitting comfortably in the fourth spot.

"It is a total team effort. It is never a one-man show. Everyone in the team has been assigned a job and they are performing it rather well," he said.

It can be argued that there is very little Indian about the team other than the name and troubled co-owners Mallya and

Speculation is rife that after the radical change to the pink livery, the team's name will also be changed ahead of the next season.

"We changed the car colour because of the sponsors (BWT). And the talk of the name change is all speculation. Nothing has been confirmed," he said.

Force India, who have been on the podium five times in their history, are yet to step on it this season despite doing a decent job so far.

"Podiums and points are always our targets and we have been trying for it all this while. It might just come in the remaining races of the season," said Fernley.

First Published: Mon, September 18 2017. 10:15 IST