Formula 1 News

Di Resta unsure of Sahara role

Force India team got a new investor in the Sahara group, who invested US$100MM and now shares ownership in equually parts with Vijay Mallya.
Thursday, October 13, 2011

YEONGAM, South Korea, Oct 13, 2011 (AFP) - Britain's Paul di Resta Thursday said he was in the dark about his future with revamped Force India but he welcomed Sahara group's US$100 million buy-in as a "great thing" for the team.

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Di Resta, 25, who has scored 20 points in his maiden Formula One season and is widely tipped as a future winner, said the Indian conglomerate's purchase of a 42.5 percent stake would keep the team on its upward trajectory.

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Sahara Wednesday said it was taking an equal stake alongside liquor tycoon and team chief Vijay Mallya, with the new outfit to be renamed Sahara Force India. The Mol family, co-owners during its Spyker era, retain 15 percent.

"What has now happened is a great thing for Force India, to have that investment coming in," Di Resta said.

"As Vijay recently said, his team is becoming what he wants it to be now. I'm sure it will continue on an upward slope."

But Di Resta said he was unaware of what role, if any, he would play in the team because because the team had delayed any decision on naming its driver line-up until December.

"At this point I don't know how the structure will work within the team," said the young Scot.

"I understand Vijay will remain team principal and he's the one who has guided this team to what it is -- so you have to give him credit for that -- and hopefully it will continue that way.

"I'm sure in the background things will change, but that's not a decision we're going to get brought into."

Di Restas manager Anthony Hamilton, father of McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, is not expected to open any talks with the team until after this weekends Korean Grand Prix.

"The team have said they're going to do it in December. Whenever they want to do it, they will do it," Di Resta said.

Mallya welcomed Sahara boss Subrata Roy as co-owner and new chairman of the team in his speech at the announcement in New Delhi on Wednesday.

"India is reaching new heights in all spheres, including sports. Formula One has always remained a bastion of the Western world. The advent of India in this exciting sport has remained a matter of pride for all our countrymen," he said.

"I feel doubly proud that Sahara is the co-owner of India's only F1 team and I am sure that through the Sahara Force India F1 Team, we will together bring pride and laurels to our beloved nation."

The finance-to-manufacturing Sahara group also sponsors the Indian cricket team and owns Indian Premier League side Bangalore Royal Challengers

Paul di Resta at Suzuka

Paul di Resta at Suzuka

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