Law Absolute - Recruitment specialists

Force India unsuccessful in systematic copying claim

28th March 2012

A long-running dispute between racing team Force India and wind tunnel designers Aerolab has ended in the Formula 1 outfit having to hand over €846,230 of debt payments.

The case stemmed from the 2009 season when Aerolab was hired to be responsible for the aerodynamic system of the Silverstone-based cars. The engineers initially accused Force India of failing to settle the bills they owed, which the team responded to by claiming it had found evidence of ‘systematic copying’ of documents that benefited rival unit 1Malaysia, who now operate under the name of Caterham F1.

Overseeing the case, however, Mr Justice Arnold ruled that only €25,000 was due to Force India, as Aerolab were found to have cut corners when producing a tester wind tunnel; the charge of systematic copying was dismissed.

Those holding lawyer jobs in the lucrative and high-powered world of Formula 1 have been watching the case with interest and are sure to take note of the fact that it was the team, rather than the company they employed, who were hardest hit.