Dr. Vijay Mallya, owner and director of the Force India Formula 1 team, has stepped away from his directorship duties.
Mallya, who, along with Michael Mol, bought the Spyker team back in 2007, has enjoyed a largely successful career as a Formula 1 boss. The former Jordan team have become a solid upper-midfield contender over the last decade, including several podium finishes and a best position of P4 in the Constructor’s Championship coming in 2017.
However, financial woes behind the scenes of Mallya’s other businesses, including Kingfisher Airlines, have meant that he is facing charges in his home country of India, including money laundering and fraud.
According to documentation from Companies House in the UK, Mallya stepped down on the 24th May, the opening day of practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The team were set for a name change for this season, to move away from the India-centric image that had been cultivated in previous years, but that change never materialised – presumably due to a lack of a new buyer. A buyout remains a distinct possibility, but Mallya’s step-down is more likely an attempt to protect the overall team from any possible legal trouble regarding his position.