F1 does have its end-to-end racing action courtesy of talented racers on the track. But the other side of the story is billionaires investing in teams to nurture their business interests.
At the center of another controversy this time, are Lawrence Stroll and Dmitry Mazepin. The latter has recently claimed that their consortium bid to acquire Force India was higher than Stroll’s bid.
This bidding process came about because of Force India entering administration back in 2018. There was a cloud of uncertainty over the team’s future, but eventually Lawrence Stroll came to the rescue.
The Force India matter will now go to court as part of legal proceedings
Just about two years after the acquisition, Russian billionaire Dmitry Mazepin has threatened legal action. His belief is that the bidding process led by administrators FRP Advisory LLP, was ‘flawed and unfair’.
According to The Times and as quoted by SoyMotor, “Dmitry Mazepin, Russian billionaire and businessman, is going to sue Lawrence Stroll for the purchase of Force India. According to the Russian, the purchase of Stroll was “illegal and rigged” as it was a much smaller sum than what he offered at the time.” (translated from Google Translate)
“Stroll, together with Toto Wolff, took control of a Force India in bankruptcy in the summer of 2018 after a bid of 101 million euros. A sum much lower than that theoretically offered by Mazepin, which was between 113.8 and 136.7 million euros, according to the British newspaper The Times.” (translated from Google Translate)
Now, the court case could also determine if Mazepin’s chemical company, Uralkali, suffered any kind of financial loss. Needless to say, this is set to be a very complicated matter.
Racing Point will get rebranded as Aston Martin F1 next year
Dubbed the ‘pink Mercedes’, Racing Point will race in its current name for the last time in 2020. Following Stroll’s investment in Aston Martin, the team will get rebranded under the new name.
Meanwhile, there were various rumors of Dmitry Mazepin being interested in acquiring Haas. Although that news has since died down, his son Nikita entering F1 still stands to be a very real possibility.
Regardless, both parties will want a swift resolution to this matter from the Supreme Court of England. And it will be interesting to see which way the verdict will go in the coming months.