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Force India fights for $33 million

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Force India is fighting for its right to keep $33 million in official prize money.

Taken over by Lawrence Stroll, the team actually had to become a new entrant as of the Belgian grand prix, which meant the forfeiting of its championship points.

But although Haas is not happy, the teams and Liberty Media said ‘Racing Point Force India’ can keep its prize money.

“We have to decide what we prefer. Stick with principles or keep a team that is now solidly funded,” Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff told Auto Motor und Sport.

Wolff, though, has an interest in keeping Force India alive, as the Silverstone based team is tipped to potentially become a Mercedes ‘B team’.

That means Renault has reservations.

“Renault will not stand in the way of the rescue of a team. And Formula One Management has assured us that they will take on the problem of B teams,” said Cyril Abiteboul.

A McLaren spokesman agrees.

“All we care about is that there will be no more B teams in the future that are technically, politically and sportingly dependent on their works partner. We have nothing against Force India,” he said.

Even Williams is on board, but potentially only because Stroll has agreed to compensate the team as Lance Stroll departs.

Haas, though, remains unhappy.

“We’ll have to see how it ends,” said Gunther Steiner. “Things developed very quickly and I don’t think every aspect was given enough time.”

Force India sees it another way.

“Haas was not disadvantaged by us,” said team boss Otmar Szafnauer. “They benefitted from a rule that allowed them to buy a large part of the car from Ferrari.

“They only had to hire 220 people. When Force India entered formula one, we were forced to design and build our own car. That’s why we have 400 employees today.

“Haas may not have received the column 1 money, but they have benefitted financially from a softening of the formula one principles,” he added.

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