Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team’s driver Sergio Perez has cleared his name from the petition that brought the outfit under administration.
The Mexican along with manager Julian Jakobi through Brockstone Ltd filed a petition to put Force India into administration under the UK law along with the support of the Mercedes Group and also sponsors BWT.
A late try by Rich Energy Ltd to inject sponsorship money was also rejected and they alleged Perez, Jakobi, Mercedes and BWT together forced the team into administration when it could have been saved.
However, Perez has now revealed his side of the story stating that his pure motivation to do this was to safeguard the jobs of nearly 400 employees within the team. He added that he did it with the support of the team on the whole.
His statement read: “I want you to know my version of what happened in these last days as I have sadly seen on the media a lot of wrong information that hurts me. My pure intention was to save the job of more than 400 team-mates.
“Force India has been in a critical financial position for some time. On Wednesday this week, one of the creditors was in court in London trying to wind the team up. If successful, this would have meant the team would be shut down immediately and everyone would lose their jobs.
“As being one of the creditors of the team, I was asked to use a different legal procedure in the English courts called ‘Administration’ which allows a company to continue operating while a new owner is found.
“We had to move very quickly and luckily we managed to get a court hearing yesterday where the judge agreed with our position, thanks to support from Mercedes and BWT. As a result, the team is now in the hands of an Administrator who can sell the team and save the jobs of the 400 amazing people that work at the team.”
This came into light when Perez first spoke to the media after Saturday’s qualifying where he finished only 19th behind teammate Esteban Ocon in a disastrous run for the team. The Mexican insisted it was a hard decision to take considering his relation with Vijay Mallya.
“Personally, I love Vijay, my heart is broken because I know this is not ideal in the short term for him,” he said to the media. “But the big picture is really different. 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. I have to say, I’m not going through a good time at the moment. I hope that whatever happens, Vijay is happy with that and gets a good benefit.
“Secondly, I look to hopefully have a team that is more stable and can move on to the next level and can be a racing team. We were not a racing team any more since the beginning of this.
“I will be happy if we can get all in the whole group better, and hopefully be happy afterwards.” It was evident that Mallya and co were looking to sell the team but only at the price they stated, which proved to be too high for the market.
Now under administration, the FRP Advisory Group will look at the potential buyers and sell them by reaching a common ground. It had become clear that Sahara wanted to sell their 42.5 percent stake for some years now.
Mallya claims the largest creditor currently is his own company Orange Holdings and so his position is safe along with Robert Fernley’s even after the sale, but for now he has no control over the team.