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Liberty proposal to help Force India receives push back from some F1 teams

Written by  Jul 31, 2018

After entering administration last Friday, the process of finding new owners for Force India could be hindered by opposition to a proposal by Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey.

Auto Motor und Sport has suggested Renault, Williams and McLaren are blocking a move which would allow the Silverstone-based team to retain their prize money and TV revenue even if the name should change, something that is usually only agreed between seasons.

If no agreement can be reached, the new owners would have to forego that payment, which could cost around $150m this season as well as potentially becoming ineligible for further payments in the coming years should a new company entirely be set-up.

McLaren and Williams' objections are reportedly linked to Liberty's future plans for budget caps and a restructuring of the revenue distribution model, with the aim of possibly trying to get concessions for their approval.

At Renault is believed their stance is in protest to the power of Mercedes and Ferrari and how they also use their customer teams for political gain.

The action began with legal action by driver Sergio Perez over a debt of £3m with Mercedes and other parties joining on.

Speaking about his decision to do so over the weekend, Perez insisted it was for the good of the team.

“I don’t really understand all the terms with lawyers and so on, but certainly, the bottom line of this is we either do this or the team will have gone bust. It’s what I got from the lawyers and from members of the team," he said.

“There are 400 people out there at risk, their jobs, families, team members. You cannot imagine. We are all aware of the situation that my friend Vijay [Mallya] is going through.

“I have gone through a very difficult moment emotionally more than mentally. For me, it’s been hard the position I’ve been put in. So yeah, I have to say, I’m not going through a good time at the moment.”

Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff is also closely following the situation.

“A formal process has been started with administration and we have to wait and see who will bid for the assets,” he said, with billionaires Lawrence Stroll and Dmitry Mazepin linked, both of whom have race drivers for sons.

“We as Mercedes are interested spectators of the process and we would like to understand what the funding strategy from a potential new buyer is, how it could affect the collaboration between the two teams. We aren’t there yet.”

The Austrian remains confident, however, a resolution will be found.

“Now that the process has been kicked off by the administrator, there are many potential buyers with great interest, with deep pockets, [and] with an understanding of what kind of spending levels are needed in order to perform in F1," he claimed.

“It’s something that is positive for the team, and for all its employees, I would say."

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