Vijay Mallya resigns as Force India director

Co-owner steps down to focus on legal difficulties, to be replaced by son Siddarth.

Vijay Mallya resigns as Force India director

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Vijay Mallya has resigned as a director of Formula One team Force India.

The 62-year-old co-owner of the motorsport outfit said he had stepped down to allow himself more time to focus on his legal difficulties.

The businessman is currently fighting an extradition request from the Indian government. He is accused of defrauding Indian banks and has had his passport revoked while the government seeks to force him to return from exile in the UK.

Mallya has co-owned part of Force India since 2008 with fellow countryman Subrata Roy. Each owns 42.5 per cent, with Dutch businessman Michiel Mol controlling the remaining 15 per cent.

Mallya will continue as Force India team principal, and told motorsport news outlet Autosport that he would be replaced as a director on the board by his son Siddarth, who has served as a director of the Royal Challengers Bangalore Indian Premier League (IPL) team.

"There was no compulsion anywhere to resign,” Mallya said. “It's just that I decided my son should replace me. I have my own legal issues to take care of, so it's better that the company remains unaffected."

Force India currently stands sixth in the 2018 constructors' standings' with 26 points. The team has secured only one podium so far this season, with Sergio Pérez finishing third in Azerbaijan.