Rumors of discord at Force India UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' - See related rumor.
09/11/08 (GMM) Vijay Mallya has gone some way towards confirming rumors that all is not well at present behind the closed doors of his formula one team.
We reported paddock rumblings recently that tension is a prominent sensation in the Force India garage at present, as team principal Colin Kolles and technical boss Mike Gascoyne apparently clash.
"Yes, there may be differences of opinion but these differences started even before I took over the team," Mallya, the team's ever-present co-owner, said last week at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Indian billionaire then warned: "Everybody knows I am the boss and I make the decisions."
Mallya's last point is perhaps at odds with some observers' perceptions that Kolles, who has been involved with a similar role at the Silverstone-based team since its final Jordan guise, calls the shots.
"The answer is absolutely not. Colin performs a role that I give him to perform and he's accountable to me.
"He does what I tell him to do. I take the final decision," Mallya clarified.
He also dismissed rumors that - with the team's regular lavish parties, plush new motor home, and the inescapable fact that the cars are still at the back of the grid - he may have underestimated the task of being involved in the sport.
Mallya's days as a F1 sponsor, through his Kingfisher airline brand, date back to the nineties at Benetton, and most recently in 2007 with Toyota.
"I've come into this with my eyes wide open," he insisted. "The question of me suddenly becoming disillusioned because I face something I haven't anticipated is rubbish."09/01/08
(GMM) All is not well behind closed doors at Force India, according to loudening whispers in formula one circles.
|Technical boss Mike Gascoyne has yet to put together a winning F1 car in his career, but is it his fault or the teams he has worked for? |
Despite the fact that the Silverstone based team is now closer to the rest of the pack than in its past Spyker and Midland guises, the latest Vijay Mallya-headed incarnation is apparently hosting some tensions within the top brass.
Despite a bigger budget in 2008 and technical achievements like the recently debuted seamless gearbox, the current rumors suggest that most of the unease is due to disagreements between team principal Colin Kolles and technical boss Mike Gascoyne.
There are also rumors of unease about the team's failure to score points this year, mistakes made by the drivers, and the realization that significant progress is unlikely without a lot more money.
Mallya, however, said recently that he is committed to the project for 2009.
"One realizes how tough formula one really is and it reinforces the challenge that I have before me for 2009 to be really competitive," he said.
"I now know precisely what I'm up against, so I can plan better.
"Maybe I learned the hard way, but it's good to learn. So 2009 will be much more competitive for the Force India team," the Indian billionaire added.