FEBRUARY 2, 2009
Gascoyne and Force India going legal
The relationship between Force India's top management last year was strained at best and it seems that Vijay Mallya is now going to have to pay for having not been able to find a way to keep his Chief Technical Officer Mike Gascoyne happy. Gascoyne spent the season at odds with former team principal Colin Kolles over the question of how money was being spent (or not, as the case may be) and whether or not Mallya had a realistic view of how the team was going and where it is going in the future. In the end Mallya decided to get rid of both men and go into an alliance with McLaren, which includes a McLaren manager taking over at the team factory. This will not be cheap but Mallya hopes that the performance will be such that it will be worth it. Gascoyne's view was that the team had made a big step forward and that the logical course of action would have been to continue down the same path.
Gascoyne is claiming the remaining $2.5m in salary that was due for 2009 and hopes also to be able to claim a percentage of money he might have earned in 2010 and 2011 if he had taken up his option to stay with the team.
It is not clear whether the team will fight the case or not but it will rather embarrassing if it does as it will shed light on a team that was decidedly dysfunctional in the course of the 2008 season. That will not reflect well on Mallya, who is keen to maintain his image as a successful manager.