Ex-F1 team owner sentenced to jail just after attending British GP

Vijay Mallya has been found guilty of contempt by India's Supreme Court.

Former F1 team owner, Vijay Mallya, has been sentenced to jail by India’s Supreme Court, after being found guilty of failing “to disclose his assets after defaulting on a loan”.

Mallya owned Force India, which took the place of former-team Spyker, who were bought out by a consortium that was co-led by Mallya himself.

Force India ran in Formula 1 from 2008 to the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix, before being sold to Lawrence Stroll, who formed the team Racing Point.

Racing Point then became the Aston Martin F1 Team in 2021, who continue to be owned by Stroll.

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Mallya was forced to sell the team in 2018, due to being unable to afford the Force India running costs.

It came at a time when Mallya was accused of fraud, and defaulting on loans, linked to Kingfisher Airlines, which he owned.

The company closed in 2012; however, financial irregularities over the company remain.

Whilst in the sport, Force India claimed six podiums, with a best result of second coming at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix thanks to Giancarlo Fisichella, who also claimed the team’s only pole at the same event.

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The team twice finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship, in 2016 and 2017, despite running on a very small budget compared to their competitors.

Mallya has faced accusations of fraud for many years, with India having tried to extradite him so that he could face his charges.

It’s believed that the former-team boss is living in London, having moved to the English capital in 2016.

At the time, he denied fleeing India, despite failing to pay debts in excess of an astonishing £840 million.

Mallya lost an appeal at the High Court in London to remain in the city; however, it’s reported that he continues to reside in the area.

Mallya was also convicted of contempt in 2017, having transferred $40million to his children in violation of court orders.

As a result of the $40 million transaction, the Indian Supreme Court has sentenced the 66-year-old to a four month jail sentence.