MAY 11, 2016
Force India hopes for Mallya return soon
The UK government has turned down India's request for Vijay Mallya to be deported.
Former billionaire Mallya has been absent from the F1 paddocks this year over his highly-publicised dispute with the Indian government, regarding the collapse of his airline Kingfisher and massive debts.
The 60-year-old is currently holed up at his house formerly owned by Lewis Hamilton's father in England, amid India's attempts to have him deported after his passport was revoked.
But a spokesperson for India's external affairs ministry said the UK has informed the government that Mallya can stay as long as his passport was valid when he entered the country.
"At the same time the UK acknowledges the seriousness of the allegations and is keen to assist (the) government of India," the spokesperson told The Hindu.
"They have asked (the government) to consider requesting mutual legal assistance or extradition."
Amid the Force India boss and co-owner's troubles, team chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said Mallya's absence from the grands prix is not badly hurting the team.
"We're all used to seeing Vijay at the circuits, but he has many business interests and so from that regard, from an operational standpoint, I don't think it has a big impact on the team," he said.
"I know he's working hard with the Indian government to resolve his issues and hopefully soon we'll see him back at the races," Szafnauer added.