Formula 1: Drive to Survive (2019) s01e05 Episode Script

Trouble at the Top

1 [Vijay Mallya.]
My objective is that by 2010, Force India Formula One team will rightfully occupy a place on the podium.
I'm Vijay Mallya, Team Principal of Sahara Force India Formula One.
I have always been passionate about cars and racing cars.
So to acquire a Formula One team, it's like a dream come true.
Nobody ever thought that there would be an Indian Formula One team on the grid.
It was just too expensive.
And it seemed more like a pipe dream than a real dream.
From where we started to finish fourth, two years running, there can be no greater satisfaction.
[Sergio Perez.]
We did it once again, guys! Once again! [Croft.]
Sergio Perez picks up a very unlikely podium.
Brilliant, Checo! Absolutely brilliant.
Now there are constant rumors about offers to buy the team, but I've invested blood, sweat and tears into Force India.
So I'm fighting every step of the way.
[pneumatic tools whirring.]
Vijay's always been one of Formula One's more colorful characters, known as the king of good times.
But Force India's success has come from making every penny work for them.
They're one of the most efficient outfits in the sport.
When you look at Force India and McLaren over the last few years, they're completely mirror images of one another, because while Force India has achieved so much with so little, McLaren, one of the biggest names in the sport, seems to be achieving so little with so much.
Oh, not another problem for McLaren [Vandoorne.]
I lost drive I need to park up.
-[Eric Bouiller.]
Copy, Stoffel, copy.
I don't have the same power.
We can't fix it.
We can't fix it.
Mate, I have no brakes, no tires.
We are out of the points.
I will try to do whatever, but I don't care too much.
Sounded like a driver who wants to call it a day, didn't it? [Croft.]
Fernando Alonso becomes the first retirement of this Grand Prix.
And Zak Brown not happy.
Not where they expected to be or want to be.
Eric, do you accept any responsibility for the failings of this car? And will you resign? [chuckles.]
Um, obviously, we are all responsible for the car performance.
Uh, we are not where we want to be, we are not happy where we are Do you expect still to be in your job at Silverstone? [scoffs.]
Good morning, Fernando.
How are you? Good.
Where are you? So I wanted to let you know, and we can chat about it further.
Uh, last night I accepted, uh, Eric's resignation.
Lots of pressure on the team, as we all know, and he's been taking the brunt of it.
Obviously it's been a tough three, four years for him, and he felt, in order for us to move forward with all the pressure, that it was best he stepped aside.
I think we got great people.
We're gonna recruit some people and, you know, get the team, uh turned around and make McLaren great again.
I think Fernando's one of the best drivers in the history of Formula One.
Two-time world champion, won over thirty races, recognized by many to be the best driver in the world.
When you have a driver of Fernando's caliber, you wanna keep them in your racing team.
At the top, there's one guy responsible now and you're talking to him.
So the the buck stops with me.
You're absolutely right.
Any time you're responsible for a large organization, that comes with a lot of pressure.
So I like that first question 'cause it'll also suck up about five minutes.
That's good.
How's your search for a technical director going? Nope.
We've already had it.
So, let's get rid of that one.
It's a huge responsibility.
If you can't cope with the pressure, you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Um, he's asked Zak to address whether it was a voluntary resignation by mutual agreement.
It's inappropriate for me to get into any details -of the conversation that Eric and I had.
Those are private matters.
Zak Brown hasn't come from a position of running a big racing team, so he's got a huge, huge job on his hands, especially when you consider he's got a two-time world champion in Fernando Alonso, who demands nothing but the best.
Force India could never afford an Alonso or a Lewis Hamilton or a Vettel.
It's not a one man show.
It's a team effort.
And I guess I hired the right guys.
I hired Otmar as the Chief Operating Officer.
I think he shares the same passion and ambition.
Drivers, we have Checo Perez.
He's a gutsy driver and he's got great race craft.
Esteban Ocon, here's a guy who's young, he's passionate, he's hungry, and he's got talent.
Nice job, Esteban.
Nice job.
I think he surprised us all in his first full year in Formula One and did himself proud.
[in Itallian.]
Hi, Carlo.
We are here with Roberta.
[in English.]
And she wanted to let you know that she deserve a lot of present, a lot of attention.
Oh, thank you, guys! Yes! The fact that the team is able to compete and perform at such a high level is absolutely incredible especially when you consider the personal difficulties that Vijay Mallya's been going through.
Today, it's the fall from grace of one of India's most high profile businessmen, Vijay Mallya.
Prosecution has told the court that Vijay Mallya avoided attempts to repay loans to banks, did not disclose assets, allegedly diverted loan money to motor racing.
The allegations are baseless, unfounded, deliberate.
It doesn't look good on your Formula One team, does it, apart from anything else? [cameras clicking.]
Right now, I'm in forced exile.
I am absolutely not guilty of any one of these preposterous charges.
That is the truth.
It can't be helpful to Force India to have Vijay facing such difficulties.
And with the banks in India wanting to get hold of him, Vijay can't be seen to be spending loads and loads of money when other people are chasing him for loads and loads of money.
There isn't that cash flow to Force India anymore, so it's going to be having some form of impact.
I'm Esteban Ocon, 22 years old, racing for Force India Formula One team.
Vijay, for sure it's a tough situation for me, for the race team, at the track, but I can't focus on all those things.
My job is to stick in the race seat and put the car as high as I can.
That's the only thing I can do to help the team at the moment.
Nice view, huh? [engine revs.]
From the first race, basically, I'm here, training hard and just improving all the aspects.
Mentally, physically From my point of view, here is the best way.
There is nothing except sport here.
No girls, no drinks, no distractions.
Get ready.
Go! [Ocon.]
The last season, it's been a very special season for me.
I was very happy with how I progressed, to be the most successful season of the team.
And that feeling, I want to have it more and more.
When I was a kid, it was a different life then than everyone else.
Tough times.
Yeah, for sure.
My parents, they don't have a lot of of money.
Well, my dad's, yeah, he's a mechanic.
It's really hard to describe the hours he was doing, when I was going to sleep.
Sometimes he was working all night and I still saw him in the morning on the same thing.
My dad always was saying, "I want a better life for you than I had for me.
" [in French.]
For me, it's everything.
Esteban is my whole life.
I'm still here today for him.
Esteban is my greatest pride.
That's my son.
[Ocon in English.]
My dad had his workshop.
I've always been growing, seeing engines, fuel, rubber, whatever.
I used to be there, you know, playing with little cars and after that, you know, I always wanted to be a racing driver.
Silverstone is a tough track, of course, because, you know, it's very quick and very technical.
I have to close the eyes, though.
I'm a very competitive guy, you know.
I want to be world champion.
I'm not gonna lift the throttle until I get it.
Stay straight, DRS on, turn one, flat out.
Turn two, 50 meters.
Down the gears.
Low corner.
Have to get on the power.
Bumpy arrival through there.
Third gear.
Long, long left.
Turn seven.
Up on the curb.
Back on the power.
Third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh.
On the curb.
Flat out for cross.
All the races give the same amount of points, but there are certain races that you really want to do well.
Silverstone is very special as a race for everybody.
Formula One is British.
It's a fantastic event, you know.
You have so many fans.
The passion here amongst the British audience is just exceptional.
Silverstone is an iconic Grand Prix.
It's a great circuit.
It is one of the core Grand Prix that you wanna have success at.
Silverstone is always one of the races that we all want to win one day.
A win in Silverstone makes you feel part of Formula One.
Difficult to explain by words, but when you are driving and when you are the paddock you know, it's the place to be.
It's the home of Formula One.
It feels special, 'cause it's home and it's the one race of the year you can drive from your house to.
I got your note this afternoon.
I've gotta do the FIA and-- You're important, but you're not morning important.
You're more, like, afternoon important.
Why Eric Boullier was not the right guy to make McLaren great again? These look like appointments which have been made on the instruction of or with the intention of pleasing Fernando above anything else.
Is that fair or unfair? Oh, it's totally inaccurate.
Some things, maybe, I tried to, you know, give my feedback.
The most important thing is to improve the car and to be more competitive and, you know, hopefully from this weekend, we see a step forward.
There is a feeling in the paddock that Fernando's influence over McLaren is all-telling and all-important.
You know, people will whisper-- Well, it used to be a whisper.
It's not even a whisper anymore that, you know, it's sort of Team Fernando, um that he's making the decisions.
And everyone'll be wondering, what have you done to your hand? Are you all right? Yes.
You haven't been punching the wall again? -Not yet.
-Thanks, Fernando.
What do you like the most about the track, which is legendary? The fast corners.
To drive here in a Formula One car is-- It's experience that you don't get it in many other tracks.
Uh, this is very special.
Thank you.
Good luck.
-Thank you.
Thank you, Checo.
[in Spanish.]
Thank you.
What are your thoughts Checo, on all the shit that's going on with McLaren at the moment? -Ooh, difficult, no? -[chuckles.]
They are putting in all the people that Fernando likes and that like him.
For me, it can be an option, that he could become a sort of owner of the team.
That's what happens when a driver controls so much.
How do you do? Hi.
-How do you do? Hi.
Nice to meet you.
I am the subject of one of the greatest political witch-hunts in Indian history.
Things are flying at me fast and furious.
And I don't know what the government is going to do next.
It clearly seems to be getting more serious behind the scenes.
Vijay's unable to leave the UK for fear of being arrested, so the British Grand Prix is the only race that Vijay can actually physically attend to watch his own team.
Take care.
But he doesn't want to give up Force India.
-Hi, Vijay.
It's his pride and joy.
Question to Vijay.
There has been renewed speculation about your future ownership of Force India.
How do you respond to that speculation, the team is for sale? In your question you said, "Renewed speculation," right? People have been writing about the ownership of my team for years now.
I'm sure you will not see anybody in Force India, indeed myself, walk around with a "for sale'' sign.
Speculation remains speculation.
It's a Saturday, and the final practice before qualifying begins.
Silverstone is a brilliant track with the fastest, most exhilarating corners anywhere on the calendar.
Hamilton is pushing hard! Now, Vettel would love pole position on British soil.
And here comes Brendon Hartley And a big crash there for the Toro Rosso.
Are you okay? -[Hartley.]
Suspension failure.
And we thought we'd have 20 drivers going for pole today, but we've got 19.
Here is Stoffel Vandoorne.
Is the car okay, Stoffel? [Stoffel.]
Seriously, the car is so tricky to drive.
Stoffel Vandoorne driving very aggressively.
Too much curb, I think, for Vandoorne, who's damaged his car.
There's a bit of carbon fiber debris now down at turn six.
Alonso, meanwhile, is on his first timed lap of the session, flying through Copse Corner.
Seriously, we were losing time on the straights.
Okay, Fernando.
Thirteenth for Fernando Alonso.
Vandoorne in 17th place.
Maybe that bit of debris came off the car and lost him a lot of performance.
It's been a tough weekend for him and McLaren.
Now, here comes Esteban Ocon in the Force India.
Struggling for traction a little bit coming out of Village, the tight right-hander, but looked much neater through turn four.
Esteban, so you're totally clear ahead.
He's picked up time, Ocon.
Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Nice one.
Ocon will start tomorrow's race in the front half of the grid, with his teammate, Perez, just behind.
Both McLaren drivers are further back.
-Hi, Vijay.
-How are you? Very good.
Very good.
And you? Good.
You squeezed a lot out of that car in qualy today.
Little bit makes massive difference in the end.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your Force India drivers, Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez.
When during the weekend, if ever, do you think the car's been right? Um I-- I feel like we've always struggled going into qualifying.
As soon as the speed kind of scrubs off, it's like driving on ice.
What's going wrong with McLaren? There's a lot of politics involved.
There's a lot of money.
It's a lot of decisions that were taken that have become very difficult to reverse.
And I think that's what McLaren are struggling with.
Who's got a really good question? -Little kid here.
Can I have your hat? You got it.
You know, we're sort of running out of things to check.
Certainly all the suspension internals are okay.
All the suspension externals.
There's nothing obvious to find.
Do you think that the ride was any different in qualifying? No.
Uh any thoughts on the roll stiffness change we made? -No.
No difference.
Uh, okay.
Three [crowd.]
Two, one, go! I think we lost performance, as we know, in the last couple of races.
Always Formula One car improves with headwind, but this year's, it seems that it is a huge step worse in tailwind.
I know you were testing in Barcelona all the ideas, but we are in the middle of July, and we didn't saw any of those.
So need to speed up.
Enjoy the race tomorrow.
It's coming home! [Croft.]
Welcome along to round ten of the Formula One World Championship in front of a record crowd of 140,000 people.
Every time I see Sahara Force India Formula One on the World Championship grid with Ferrari, with Mercedes, you know, it's a great sense of pride.
As a kid, I was watching Formula One on TV, and I was dreaming, you know, about being there on the race track.
But now, as a driver, you can't say, you know, "He's better than me.
" You always think you are the best.
I think if you don't start thinking like that, that's a loss already.
To be fourth in the championship again, Toro Rosso, Renault, McLaren, you gotta beat them.
That is the task.
I think this season really revealed that maybe we're not as good as we thought we were.
We should be the best of the rest right now, and we're the worst of the rest right now, which is not good.
Somebody's gotta be accountable.
And right now, it's Zak.
-I'd like to get some points today.
-Fernando's-- Yeah.
-Well, he's got a big chance.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ultimately, we're a Grand Prix team that's been bred to win races, so the pressure will be on for on-track results.
Come on, boys.
When the lights come on, the adrenaline is pumping and the heart certainly misses a beat.
Away we go at the British Grand Prix! [announcer.]
Whoa! Contact between Perez and Alonso.
Yeah, I think we got shoved off at the start.
I think he damaged the front wing.
And Perez is off! [crew.]
Checo, give us feedback.
Give us feedback.
Yeah, someone hit me.
How's the front wing? Did you hit tires? [Perez.]
No, I think it's okay.
Kimi Raikkonen on the outside, Vettel from Bottas.
They touched! Hamilton's gone round.
He's crashed! That is massive disappointment for the British crowd.
What's going through my mind when I crash? Avoid.
Nothing else.
Choose a direction as quickly as possible and yeah, try not to hit it.
Fernando Alonso's picked up a place on Kevin Magnussen.
Great work.
Now though, Magnussen is the car behind you.
He could be quick.
Magnussen's coming back at Alonso.
They're going wheel-to-wheel.
What I see from Magnussen, I never saw in my life.
He pushed me wide at turn seven, ten, eleven, and turn twelve.
Understood, Fernando.
Head down.
It's ridiculous.
Ridiculous! [Croft.]
And someone's had a big off as well.
-Who's that? Sainz.
-Sainz! -Sainz! [crew.]
Sainz and Grosjean.
Gunter must be absolutely ready to put his fist through the wall.
Now, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen right behind him.
Oh, look who's in tenth and in the points, Fernando Alonso right in there.
We could be in for a massive 11-lap scrap now.
Oh, Verstappen's off! We have lost Verstappen, Grosjean, Sainz, Ericcson, Leclerc, and Hartley from this race.
Nico Hülkenberg is about 1.
7 seconds clear of Esteban Ocon.
Kevin Magnussen is ahead of Fernando Alonso.
He's got DRS to attack him with.
Alonso's not giving up.
He's back on the inside of Magnussen.
Yes! -Got him.
He's relentless, isn't he? -He's a monster.
Alonso, Magnussen, Gasly, Perez, all in a huge scrap there.
Alonso ahead of Magnussen.
Eighth place at the moment for McLaren.
Well, if you have someone like Alonso behind you, for sure, you know he's gonna try hard.
As soon as you do a little mistake, he will try to get you.
I remember where I come from.
A lot of sacrifices.
So I'm not gonna let anything stop me.
You need to trust your skill, trust the car and be one.
Ocon crosses the line ahead of Alonso.
Awesome job, guys.
Really good.
Really tough race, but good points.
We're really happy.
Great job, mate.
Great job.
We could be finished sixth.
We were flying now.
What a shame.
Any time you haven't maximized the weekend or you think maybe you've left something on the table, that can be frustrating, 'cause points, especially right now for us, are very hard to come by.
Eighth is-- is probably not enough with the performance we had in the car today.
I would've like to achieved more, but I think I can say that about every Grand Prix so far this year.
Fantastic results, you know, P-7.
We are really happy with that.
It was very, very tough race.
Uh I have to say, you know, keeping Fernando and Kevin in the back was not an easy task, and we're improving, so that's why I am smiling now.
It is always good to have a double-points finish, particularly at home in Silverstone.
I'm extremely proud of my entire team and all my employees as well.
-How are you, big man? -[Mallya.]
I'm good, and you? Good to see you.
Very well, thank you.
Welcome along.
[Mallya clears throat.]
You still gonna be around by the end of the season? Why do you ask? Well, I'm hoping you're not leaving, that's why.
No, no.
Absolutely not.
What you don't want is for the guys back at the factory thinking, "Shit, my job's under threat.
" If the team's getting sold, that's not fair on them.
I have a famous saying that I have been saying for decades.
I will believe it when the fat lady sings.
We haven't paid 'em in forever.
[man 2.]
So if it all gets across all the pension stuff will be paid, so that's all part of the employer stuff.
-You should come up to date.
-It'll get sorted through.
Those are the only questions they have.
-All the pension stuff will-- -Salaries and pension.
Yeah, yeah.
Is everyone here? Good morning, everyone, and, uh, thanks for coming.
As you know, from what you saw in the press and in the media that on Friday there was a case in London.
I cannot answer so many questions.
Please, please.
And our team and company has been put into administration.
Thank you very much.
No further questions.
-Nothing! That's all.
-Force India in administration, sir-- Control of the company sits with ourselves as administrators whilst we try and find a solution that gives you a future with new owners or new investment.
I am not going to answer any questions.
I've been advised not to.
I know that probably the most pressing thing that everyone will be wanting to know is, are you going to get paid on Wednesday? And the answer to that is, yes.
When I heard the news that Vijay left, of course it was difficult, you know, because I'm-- Vijay, I was very close to him.
Thank you very much.
It's been one of the people that picked me up in Force India, basically in the beginning.
-I got myself one in my house.
-Oh, you practice now? Yeah.
He had always been very nice to me, and he used to send me a message, you know, before the race.
"Yeah, Esteban, score points there.
Good luck, and I'm cheering for you.
" And I will miss him definitely.
I will miss that passion for the sport, but I think everyone in F1 wants Force India to keep racing.
The problem is that the last two teams that this happened, they disappeared.
Force India, that's the big story.
Could the team rise from the ashes with Lawrence Stroll as the new boss and his son as their driver? [Lance.]
I'm going into the family business.
Who's going to be out of a seat for next season? Perez or Ocon? If you do a strong job on the team, they can't skip you.
Into the wall goes Esteban Ocon!
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