Calcutta: The Sahara Group, on Wednesday, announced an equity investment in the Force India Formula One Team. Subsequent to subscribing to new shares, Sahara will be investing $100 million into the F1 Team, media release said on Wednesday.
With this investment both the Sahara and Force India Team Principal & managing director Vijay Mallya will own 42.5 per cent each in the team. The Michiel Mol familys equity will be at 15 per cent.
The new logo of the Sahara Force India F1 Team, as the team will now be called, was jointly unveiled on Wednesday by Subrata Roy and Vijay Mallya, at a press conference in New Delhi. Roy will be the chairman of the team.
Sahara Group will invest $100 million into the team. The total capital of the company has increased enormously. None of us sold or bought equity and there will be only re-structuring. New shares will be sold, Mallya announced.
Total shares will be distributed in three places. I will have 42.5 percent equity share and Sahara Group another 42.5 percent and Michiel Mol family 15 percent, he added.
Roy said their aim is to take the team to newer heights. Now we have joined hands with Vijay Mallya. We have to discuss the plans so that the team reaches to the top as soon as possible, he said.
Roy hinted that he was interested in having an Indian driver in the team but also clarified that he was not in a hurry. India have produced two F1 drivers thus far — Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok — but none of the two has been given a chance to be with Force India.
Mallya said he has plans to bring in an Indian driver in the team but not immediately.
I have never said that I am not interested in having Indian drivers. They do not suit me for whatever reason as of now. We are happy with the current team, he said.
Mallya said initially he wanted Saharas association with Force India just as a sponsor but the plan changed after Roy visited teams factory in Silverstone.
Just like any other team, I also wanted a sponsorship deal with Sahara but after seeing my factory he was impressed with the set up there and agreed to invest this $100 million instead of sponsorship, Mallya revealed.
It is a huge money. It will be invested in research & development, technology upgradation and new concepts and innovation which come from time to time like the KERS and wind diffuser.
Team positions are decided by one hundredth of a second these days and this huge investment will help in improving the team position, he said.
Mallya had bought the Spyker Ferrari F1 Team in 2007, reportedly for about 90 million euros. He then renamed the team as Force India.
The team is at the sixth position in the constructors championships with 48 points in the current season.