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Vijay Mallya Explains Mike Gascoyne Layoff

Force India's owner Vijay Mallya has revealed the reasons why he decided to eliminate both Mike Gascoyne and Colin Kolles from team's management ahead of the 2009 season. Well, it was actually more of a critique brought to the former, as Gascoyne had previously left Toyota – in 2006 – following a similar conflict of opinions with the team's bosses.

Apart from setting an F1 programme unable to bring home a single point throughout the entire 2008 season, Mallya sacked Gascoyne due to the fact that he was very difficult to work with. According to Mallya, all the people working for Force India's technical department had no saying when it came to the development of the VJM01.

“In a way, Mike Gascoyne was a very imposing person. He practiced a formula that was 'his way or the highway' and these talented people were not given an opportunity,” said Mallya in an interview for Formula 1's official website, soon after the launch of team's 2009 challenger last weekend.

Earlier this week, race driver Adrian Sutil also praised the “new atmosphere” in the Force India garage, backing Mallya's decision to pull the plug on Gascoyne's and Kolles' contracts. Their positions within the team were taken by design director Mark Smith and technical director James Key on one hand (in charge of the VJM02 development) and Chief Operations Engineer Simon Roberts.

Mallya's comments come one month away from Gascoyne's announcement that he will sue Force India for damages and incidental costs following the early termination of his contract with the Silverstone-based team. Also known within the F1 paddock as “the bulldog”, Gascoyne has already submitted all the legal documentation to the London High Court and is demanding $2.5 million for his last year of contract plus a percentage of the $5 million he would have earned had he signed the 2-year extension stated in his contract.
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