Force India Confirms Legal Actions Against Lotus F1
Additionally, Force India also announced it is suing Italian wind tunnel Aerolab, claiming that the wind tunnel used by the Indian team for the development of their 2009 car – and that was forgotten in the Aerolab facility – was used by the Italian company's next partner, Lotus F1 Team, for the building of their 2010 single-seater, the T127.
“The Force India F1 Team confirms it has instigated UK civil proceedings against 1Malaysia Racing Team SDN BHD (a Malaysian company), 1Malaysia Racing Team (UK) Limited (Lotus Racing's parent companies), Michael Gascoyne and Aerolab SRL,” reads the statement.
“Force India also confirms that a complaint for disclosure of confidential information was filed in December 2009 with the competent authorities in Italy and that investigations are being conducted.”
“Force India believes that Lotus Racing, via its use of Aerolab and Fondtech facilities and data, has utilised and benefited from the use of Force India F1 Team's intellectual property, including components and tyres exclusively licensed by Bridgestone to the Force India F1 Team, on its wind tunnel model design for the current Lotus T127 chassis without permission from the Force India F1 Team.”
“Force India states these are very serious claims and therefore it would not be taking such action if it could not provide supportive evidence.”
Additionally, the Force India statement played down recent reports that their legal action is related to money issues, after Aerolab pursued the Indian organization for serious and persistent breaches of contract.
“Force India would like to clarify that any action between Aerolab and Force India for undue termination of contract is now being addressed by the courts. Force India confirms it paid approximately one million euros in autumn 2009 to secure the payment claimed by Aerolab and it is now for the competent courts to decide whether, indeed, this outstanding amount should be paid to Aerolab given the seriousness of these current allegations,” ended the statement.
In response, a spokesman for Lotus F1 Team told the media that Aerolab “vigorously denies any wrongdoing and has provided Lotus Racing with a full indemnity in relation to the claim.”