SEPTEMBER 8, 2008
Mallya sees Force India as under control
Vijay Mallya says that there is nothing wrong with relationships inside the Force India F1 teams, although he admits that commercial boss Colin Kolles and technical boss Mike Gascoyne are not getting on very well.
"Disagreements exist everywhere, even in the world™s best managed companies," Mallya said. "I run the team and I am not going to be a silent spectator if there is a conflict that damages the prospects and the performance of the team. At the same time I do not believe in wasting time with childlike bickerings. There is a technical function and there is a commercial function. The two are mutually exclusive."
Mallya says that if things get outn of hand he will not hesitate to solve the problem, one way or another, but says that there is no need to unless the situation damages the team. Leaving things as they are is an interesting policy given the obvious strains inside the team and Mallya is obviously aware that people may start to leave if the problem is not solved.
The Indian reckons that the root of the conflict is in the performance this year which is not what was hoped for.
"The expectation was to get into Q2 on a regular basis," he says. "It was a reasonable target but it has obviously proved to be a lot more difficult than we thought. The engineers say that this is because F1 is extraordinarily competitive in 2008."
"We are not in a miserable condition," he added. "I am not hanging my head in shame."
Mallya did say that there are technical decision that need to be taken about the future which are also causing controversy.
"Multiple people have multiple opinions," he says. "I will decide."
The team is currently negotiating for a complete Ferrari drivetrain package, including the new KERS systems. This basically limits the team's ultimate performance and the engineers argue that it might be wiser to do their own development in the hope of moving up the grid.
Mallya says that none of this effects the long term goals of the team.
"We are here for the long-term," he says.