An unfamiliar energy drinks company sprung out of the woodwork in February claiming it was leading a deal to take over Force India for $ 280 million, but Rich Energy's plans - if they ever existed - have fizzled just as fast as they appeared.
The company, which no one had ever heard of before its flashy PR/fake news stunt, apparently develops and markets an "innovative and elite energy drink for the discerning customer".
A bit too "discerning" perhaps as we couldn't come across anyone who has ever seen a can of Rich Energy in the metal, let alone tasted the so-called premium kool-aid.
Needless to say, despite Rich Energy's series of shameless F1 advertorials which went from "...in talks to buy Forced India" to "... a deal is expected next week" over the course of a few days, the good folk of Force India had more important matters to tend to.
Over the decades, Formula 1 has always drawn its fair share of eccentric or shady wannabes. Whether they were swindlers , liars or megalomaniacs, or just gentle dreamers, they all sought a piece of Grand Prix racing's glitz and glamour before their fall from grace.
Rich Energy's CEO is one William Storey, a man as little-known as the product he claims to sell, and whose hirsute, bearded countenance would blend in more appropriately at the Burning Man event than in an F1 paddock.
Coincidently, while we're on the subject of imposters, Storey reminds us of the infamous and bizarre Belgian quack, Jean-Pierre van Rossem, who “owned” the Onyx F1 team back in 1989.
Van Rossem was the inventor of ‘Moneytron’, a computer programme that could supposedly predict trends in the stock market and yield endless returns. And the trick did work for a time, as plenty of wealthy investors bought into the concept.
Van Rossem made the most of the growing success of his ponzi scheme, offering himself a proper F1 team until reality kicked in and his investors caught on.
The team eventually folded and van Rossem was sentenced to prison for his scams, but then embraced a political career in his home country, launching his own ROSSEM party, with little success.
As for the curious case of William Storey and Rich Energy, we just can’t wait to see what the future will bring us in terms of excuses or reasons why the purchase of the team has been... "delayed".