Force India struggle in Hungary GP qualifying after being placed in administration

The team's drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez qualify 18th and 19th in damp conditions in Budapest

Force India's Mexican driver Sergio Perez steers his car during a free practice session ahead of the Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod near Budapest, Hungary, on July 28, 2018.    / AFP / FERENC ISZA

The British-based Force India team have been placed into administration following a court hearing in London.

Force India will continue to take part at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, the final round before the Formula One summer break, and they struggled in qualifying with Esteban Ocon 18th and Sergio Perez 19th on the 20-car grid after the first part of the session at the Hungaroring.

It is understood that Mexican driver Perez is owed more than £3 million (Dh14.4m) in sponsorship deals, while the team's engine supplier Mercedes are also owed £11.5m.

Five separate parties are believed to be interested in buying the team.

Canadian fashion billionaire, Lawrence Stroll, whose son Lance drives for Williams, is believed to be among the potential buyers.

Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said: "I think (investment) is imminent.

"I know there's discussions going on in the background and I'm not privy to those because it's a shareholder issue."

Force India, based at Silverstone and co-owned by Vijay Mallya, have consistently over-delivered on one of the smallest budgets in F1.

They finished fourth in the constructors' championships last year - behind only the sport's big three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. This season they are fifth after 11 races.

Mallya bought the team in 2007 and rebranded it as Force India for the start of the 2008 F1 season.


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