When F1 came to India for the very first time in 2011, people were skeptical about the fan following of the sport and the number of visitors. Surprisingly, the turnaround was pretty good and trade pundits credited Team Force India for raising awareness about the high adrenaline motorsports. Started by Kingfisher by acquiring a British team, and later merged with the Sahara group, Force India is probably the only visible connection between India and F1.
But that's all for the fan of the team and F1 to cherish about. The U.K based, Indian owned F1 outfit is facing a lot of heat in terms of the finances and their newly released accounts show a loss of US $9.8m in 2015. Although that's a huge amount, compare it to the 2014 figure, and you will take a sigh of relief. Force India posted a loss of $21.9m over the course of 2014.
That's more than 100% profit making as the improved figures were largely dependent on the increase in income. The income for the team boosted from $86.4 million to $92.7 million 2015. The increased income was derived from increased sponsorship, mainly sourced from Mexico and Sergio Perez. The team also got benefited from FOM income thanks to a sixth spot finish in the World Championship in both 2013 and 2014.
The fifth place finish in the 2015 season will be paid the following year and hence reflected in this season's financial performance. Force India paid $5.6m loan taken from Swiss bank Edmond de Rothschild, while another loan of $681,240 from Mexico's America Movil was also paid in April. The staement also reveals average staffing levels rose from 376 in 2014 to 382 in 2015.
A statement from Force India notes that despite the losses, company is still a going concern and that it “is still reliant on the continued support of its parent company Orange India Holdings Sarl and its shareholders” adding that “management are confident that Orange India Holdings Sarl will continue to provide the company with sufficient funds to enable the company to meet its liabilities as they fall due for a period of 12 months from the date of signature of these financial statements [March 3].”
Bob Fernley, Deputy team principal, Force India told to Motorsports.com - “what we've been doing as a team is investing quite heavily in the technical capabilities of the team over the last seven years.” He further added, “you've got to remember there was probably 10 years of under investment in the team when Vijay bought it.
“While we will never stop investing, that investment is slowing down a little now, and we can progress on balancing our programmes in order that we can stay competitive while doing it with a balanced budget," said Fernley over investments. "We started that process last year, because we made the final moves to Toyota's wind tunnel at the end of 2014 and we started to see the technical benefits going through in 2015."