Indian businessman is not allowed to leave the UK, which he calls his ‘second home’
VIJAY MALLYA will find out in December if he will be extradited to India to face charges over money laundering and fraud.
But the boss of the Silverstone-based Force India team will put those worries aside as he attends his one and only race of the season.
The flamboyant Indian tycoon is estimated to be worth over £500million and is said to own eight properties, two yachts and four private jets, but cannot leave the UK due to the court case.
Instead, the 61-year-old has had a pit wall built in his home where he watches the race having turned Force India into the best performing team in F1 based on their pound for pound spending.
He said: “There is an extradition case that is on in Westminster and that has to be decided by a judge and that will be in December.
“For the first few years, I was at every single race. In addition to my normal business responsibilities, it was pretty hard to be at every race but the team needed it.
“To miss the atmosphere is one thing but at the end of the day I need to focus on the business and it has to run right and generate the points.
“On the lighter side of things, who doesn’t enjoy the Monaco Grand Prix, or the Singapore Grand Prix? So to an extent, there is the case of missing out on a fun occasion.
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“But England has always been more than a second home to me. I have been living there since 1992 and I now have not family back in India, they are either in the UK or the US.
“When I bought the team 10 years ago, there was a lot of speculation about whether the team would survive and whether I had the financial resources to keep it going.
“This team was running round in 23rd and 24th place, so I had to overhaul the whole management team and hire the right people.
“So I am very proud of what we have achieved today and that is shared by the 400 people I employ. They are all as hungry as I am.
“They know there is no unlimited chequebook and they understand the culture of getting the best bang for your buck.”
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