Force India is in line to file for controlled bankruptcy according to reports in AMuS, corresponding to the American Chapter 11 model.
Under this model, the team/entity will live to fight another day, but the ownership would change hands. The creditors thus will get their money later.
However, the new owners haven’t been decided upon yet, but the rumour mill suggests that Lawrence Stroll, the billionaire father of Lance Stroll is the favourite to acquire Force India.
A New York Investment fund and sponsor of BWT are amongst other suitors.
Now, if Lawrence well and duly comes in for Force India, Esteban Ocon will be the man making way for him.
We hear rumours Force India might go into administration as early as this week, but will be sold & rescued soon after. Driver market on hold until team future is secured. Looks like Renault already got an option on Ocon.
AMuS (in German): https://t.co/Zyz9Sh6yPt
— Tobi Grüner 🏁 (@tgruener) July 23, 2018
If reports are to be believed, Renault have already secured the Ocon deal, but need to make a decision on Hulkenberg and Sainz.
Sainz could get the call from Red Bull but that won’t happen until mid-September and hence Renault are already on the lookout for alternatives.
McLaren too are in this dirty mix, as Alonso hasn’t committed to being in F1 next year. If Alonso opts out to focus on other forms of motorsport, McLaren will need to scour the midfield for replacement.
Sergio Perez’s future too hangs in the balance and will be decided on after the Force India take over happens.
With the news about Marchionne’s health and the subsequent shuffling in Ferrari’s top management, the driver market is on hold with respect to Ferrari as well. But for them and Sauber the deal looks simple. It is either going to be an exchange of Leclerc and Raikkonen or they’ll stay put. So, they won’t really affect the driver market with respect to other teams.
Thus, with all the management issues plaguing F1, it seems like the driver market will be on hold until the end of summer break.