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Embattled Mallya could depart Force India – reports

There may be changes afoot behind the scenes at Force India, according to a veteran F1 newspaper correspondent.

Roger Benoit, who has written for Switzerland’s Blick for decades, has this week reported new “speculation” about the Silverstone based team.

“Is (team boss and owner) Dr Vijay Mallya in real financial trouble?” he wrote.  “Will the new co-owner, the Sahara Group, soon take over the whole team?”

Benoit’s report follows news the bank accounts of Mallya’s debt-ridden airline Kingfisher have been frozen due to tax payment defaults.

His Blick report also linked Mallya’s problems with the delays about confirmation of Force India’s 2012 driver lineup.

Italy’s Autosprint agrees: “There have recently been differences between Vijay and his new partner, Sahara”.

Nonetheless, it is expected that Paul di Resta will be confirmed for next season on Thursday, with 2011 reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg to be his teammate.

Benoit said the Ferrari-contracted rookie Jules Bianchi could replace Hulkenberg as Friday driver.