The embattled businessman has high hopes for this season, rebuking Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul who doubts Force India can keep up with the pace of development amid F1’s new technical regulations in 2017.
“Good luck to him. He might have to eat his words,” team boss and co-owner Mallya said.
Some, however, might surmise that the 61-year-old former billionaire has an even bigger battle on his hands, as the Indian government moves to extradite him from Britain.
The Times of India newspaper reports that healthy talks about the extradition – with the government pursuing Mallya following the collapse of his airline – have already taken place with British authorities.
“Both sides reiterated their determination to strengthen legal cooperation and expedite the pending requests,” the newspaper quoted a government source as saying.
Mallya, however, slammed the Indian press for focusing on the extradition rather than Force India’s hopes of breaking into F1’s top three teams as a smaller privateer in 2017.
“Very sad that Indian media do not share pride that an Indian entry in formula one is so successful,” he said on Twitter. (They are) only focused on blasting me.”