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Rediff.com  » Sports » Force India reject closure threat

Force India reject closure threat

February 06, 2010 10:56 IST

Force India rejected a report on Friday that they were in danger of being forced out of business and said their new Formula One car would start testing as planned in Spain next week.

A spokeswoman said the new VJM03 car had passed all its mandatory crash tests, with German driver Adrian Sutil giving it a successful shakedown at Silverstone's Stowe circuit on Wednesday.

A report in the Daily Telegraph suggested that Force India could be forced to close because they had not filed their 2008 accounts by an October 31 deadline.

It said a notice of dissolution had been sent on January 26 to directors, including Dutch businessman Michiel Mol and Indian aviation and liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya.

A Companies House representative was quoted as saying the ball was in Force India's court: "If we don't receive any accounts in the next three months we are going to strike the company off."

Mallya played down the report.

"Force India's participation within the F1 championship has not, and will not, be in jeopardy," he said in a statement. "It is not unknown for companies to file their annual returns late, the reasons for which are varied."

Mallya added that Force India had been granted an extension until February 25 and were taking "all the necessary steps" to ensure the accounts were submitted before that date.

Force India will unveil their new Mercedes-powered car at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain next Tuesday before four days of testing with Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi doing the first two stints.

Sutil will then take over for the final two days.

Force India were ninth of the 10 teams last season but improved significantly in the closing stages with Italian Giancarlo Fisichella finishing second at the Belgian Grand Prix to score their first points.

The season starts in Bahrain on March 14.