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Force India founder Mallya quits amid takeover talk

Written by  May 31, 2018

Amid legal troubles and talk of a takeover, Force India founder Vijay Mallya has left his position as director though will still hold the title of team principal.

While the fortunes of the team on the track have been good in recent years, personally the Indian businessman is facing fraud and money laundering charges in his homeland and has been stuck in the UK for several years after having his passport revoked.

Now, following permission from Companies House, he has handed over his role to his son Siddarth, who has worked within the Mallya family business despite also forging his own identity as an actor and media personality.

"There was no compulsion anywhere to resign, it's just that I decided that my son should replace me," Vijay told Autosport. "I have my own legal issues to take care of, so it's better that the company remains unaffected."

This move also comes amid ongoing speculation the team will be sold, with British energy drinks firm Rich Energy regularly linked, and plans to change the name with Mallya believing the Force India moniker it has run since 2008 has limited sponsorship opportunities.

"Rumours keep going on and on and on, and people talk and talk and talk," he said in response.

"That's what the F1 paddock is all about. The finances of Force India, whether I'm selling or not selling, has been a matter of speculation on and off for many years.

"We don't go around with a 'for sale' sign. There are three shareholders, remember, I'm not the only one. If somebody comes along with a serious offer and puts cash on the table, we will jointly consider it."

As for whether another option is to forge a Haas/Ferrari style relationship with Mercedes, he added: "I have not had any discussions with Mercedes, they have not made any approach to us. This hasn't even featured in casual discussions."

Having finished fourth in the Constructors' standings the past two years, 2018 has been more difficult with Force India currently sixth in the standings on 26 points.

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