Vijay Mallya – Unluckiest F1 Team Owner?

Vijay Mallya owned Force India F1 Team for 10 years
IF ONLY Vijay Mallya could have held on to the Force India F1 Team for two more seasons. Liberty Media’s new commercial changes offer never-seen-before stability and opportunity to F1 team owners. 

We couldn’t afford $150 mn to start a new Formula 1 team. Now we need $350 mn, thanks to the new ‘prize money entry barrier’. So we will settle to owning a Formula 1 podcast. Thank you for listening & cheering us!

For the first time in the sport’s 70 year history, concrete steps have been taken to help independent Formula 1 teams transition from being passion projects to serious businesses. Recently, Liberty Media announced a ‘$200 mn prize money entry barrier’ for a new team eager to join the sport. Will this hefty barrier dissuade new entrants? The one thing it does do is offer the existing teams a sense of stability and opportunity they’ve seldom experienced in Formula 1.

In fact, Gene Haas might be the luckiest and Vijay Mallya might be the unluckiest F1 1 team owners in recent times. In Mallya’s case, he lost control of the Force India F1 Team in August 2018 or thereabouts. Had he somehow managed to continue as a team owner till 2020, one could have expected that the changes engineering by Liberty Media would have helped him strengthen the Force India F1 Team further.

In this week’s episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal tell you why the prize money entry barrier is good for the sport and why $200 mn is a fair price. If you’re looking for light-hearted banter, the duo discuss Ferrari-Vettel-Perez-Aston-Martin and wonder if Ferrari refused to give Vettel a discount to purchase the F2004 or did they not want him to purchase a Ferrari whatsoever?

New Circuit Unknowns: How Simulation Tools Help F1 Teams

Sticking to Ferrari, who might make way for Mick Schumacher – Carlos Sainz Jr. or Charles Leclerc? Also, could LEC and/or SAI go the ALO-VET-RAI way at Ferrari? If so, will they find a competitive seat elsewhere in Formula 1? If results don’t come, such a scenario could be as near (or far!) as 2023!

Math: Mick Schumacher Could Race For Ferrari By 2024

Finally, they make a list of the 10 drivers the Haas F1 Team could be talking to for 2021 and later. They discuss Kimi Raikkonen’s love for tyre blankets, prepare you to brace for an overdose of comparison between Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher and of course, could Stroll-Wolff purchase and leaseback Mclaren’s iconic HQs at Woking? Tune in!

(Season 2020, Episode 46)

Links to previous episodes:

  1. Liberty Media’s Formula 1, Finally
  2. Hamilton: First-ever Formula 1 & Formula E Champion?

Here’s a list of full topics discussed sequentially in this episode:

1. Is this really the best time to be a Formula 1 team owner / investor? The value of EVERY Formula 1 team has gone up for just staying in the sport! Helmets off, Liberty Media (Read: Lawrence Stroll To Buy Formula 1?)

2. Ferrari’s luck – that their 1000th Grand Prix was not at Monza. Imagine if Netflix were filming their Ferrari special there

3. Ferrari refused to give Sebastian Vettel a discount to purchase the F2004? Or did they not want him to purchase a Ferrari whatsoever!

4. Who could make way at Ferrari for Mick Schumacher – Charles Leclerc or Carlos Sainz Jr.? Who will run out of patience first – Ferrari or Leclerc?

Key Technical & Strategy Insights For F1 2020

5. We make a list of the 10 drivers the Haas F1 Team could be speaking to for 2021 and later. Will Haas finally succumb to hiring at least one Ferrari Driver Academy driver?

6. After the steering wheel, Kimi Raikkonen has revealed his obsession for tyre blankets

7. Lewis Hamilton vs. Michael Schumacher comparison stories to grab headlines over the next fortnight. Brace yourselves!

8.  Can Lewis Hamilton be the first-ever Formula 1 and Formula E World Champion in the time to come?

9. Lawrence Stroll & Toto Wolff to get involved in Mclaren’s attempt to sell and leaseback their HQs in Woking?

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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