Mallya's legal woes not weighing on Force India

© WRI2

Force India team owner Vijay Mallya says that the ongoing legal woes which he is currently fighting in his home country are not impacting the Formula 1 team.

The Indian returned to the F1 paddock for the first time this year at the British GP, his travels being restricted after his passport was revoked in April  and a warrant issued for his arrest by an Indian court.

Mallya remains defiant in the face of a claim issued by creditors which are asking for £900million owed by the Indian tycoon following the collapse of his former business, Kingfisher Airlines, in 2013.

Indian authorities, with whom he is willing to cooperate, have requested his presence in his home country, but Mallya cannot fulfill their demand as he is unable to travel without a passport.

"I have been through this before," Mallya told Autosport.

"My first brush with the investigative authorities was in 1985. They came at me hammer and tongs for almost two years and finally found nothing, and I was completely exonerated.

"So sadly in India, these investigative agencies are political tools that do not hesitate to go on a wild-goose chase, and in the process it is nothing but persecution.

"There is no other way I can describe what is happening other than a witch hunt. I just have to ride out the storm."

Force India, 42.5% of which is owned by Mallya and the Sahara company, has remained immune to its owners' plight, even enjoying one of its best seasons as it currently stands 5th in the constructors' standings.

"In the last three years our sponsorship is up significantly. Today the gap in funding that is demanded of shareholders is almost negligible, in comparison to what it was five years ago.

"If I say the team is financially secure, and standing on its own feet, that's the truth."

Sahara chief Subrata Roy was jailed in India in 2014 for financial irregularities and later sought permission to dispose of his stake in Force India, but nobody has expressed interest in acquiring the holding according to Mallya.

"It's always good to have the permission in hand because then if you need to negotiate with a prospective buyer, you have everything ready," said Mallya.

"But there is no deal on the table, and I'm not making any effort whatsoever to either sell or to solicit investment."

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