Force India have had a history of money problems under the the tenure of Indian owner Vijay Mallya.
We’ve seen cash flow issues during winter testing before with Force India. They experienced significant difficulties over the winter period in 2015 following the collapse of Caterham; suppliers refused Force India and other mid-field teams the kind of credit they usually allow. Force India had its chassis impounded for weeks and failed to make winter testing as a result. So while the teams are waiting for benevolence fund payments to kick in from Liberty, they are at the most costly point of the year. Some estimates have suggested up to 70% of a smaller teams annual budget is spent during the winter months.
Further, it seems that strange things are at foot at the team, with talk of removing the Force India name due to lack of interest from Indian based sponsors along with name change applications at UK companies house, it appears the team is in a state of flux. The car is replete with logo’s, particularly when compared to many other teams, but one has to question the sell price of that advertising space if management are quoted as saying if “sponsors said that if we don’t change [our name], then we don’t come on board,” chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer revealed earlier this month. “If they are going to sponsor a team, they will sponsor a team which is not really tied to one country.”
It also appears that Force India might have some form of cash flow issue for 2018. TJ13 understands that employees at the Silverstone based team have been denied an annual bonus promised to them. A not insignificant sum of £1 million claimed to have been saved for this bonus back in the summer by the management. A memo was issued to all employees on Tuesday afternoon revealing the bad news that today’s bonus won’t be presenting in their accounts. Understandably the employees at Force India are not happy that £2,500 bonus payment to each of the 405 staff will not be paid until further notice, most likely April.
The team have been well known during the last 2 or 3 seasons to be ‘punching above their weight’ with the big boys on the grid, attributed in no small part to the team personnel rather than budget. It is questionable whether this high level of performance will be sustained should employment outside of the team start to become a better alternative for them.