Liquor baron Vijay Mallya made his first appearance of the 2016 season of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone in Northamptonshire, the venue of the auto racing event in England.
At the public outing, Mallya also a co-owner of Force India racing team, said his love for the sport had prompted him to buy stake in the team. "I love racing, I'm a petrolhead, I'm passionate about it..." he was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
Overseeing his Formula 1 team's activities at England, where he's cocooned since March 2, the businessman told Reuters he was at home in London and would not return to India "unless assured of a fair trial in India, if at all there needs to be a trial."
Mallya has been continuously issued summons from India's authorities to appear in front of the courts to settle cases relating to his $1.4 billion loan on the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines and other charges of corporate misgovernance.
Upset at the alleged media trials and reports claiming that his defaults amounted to $1.16 billion, Mallya said these were overstated by more than twice of the actual borrowings. He noted the courts were yet to decide on the nature of his guarantee as well as the amount arising from such guarantee.
According to Reuters, Mallya insisted that Indian media took sides to only corner him. "The media is screaming about 900 million pounds," he said. "What nobody cares to mention is that Kingfisher Airlines has launched a counter-claim on the banks themselves under lenders' liability for 380 million."
Enjoying his right of residence granted in 1992 by Britain, he added that all questions the Indian authorities wanted him to answer for could be done in England or through a video conferencing. "But why only in India? And why after my passport has been revoked?," he said.
"Life must go on," he told motorsport.com. He added that "...being based here and not travelling I have more time to devote to want I want to. Working out six days a week so I shed a few kilos and I'm feeling good and fit."
On his team's performance, he said Force India was aiming for the number fourth spot this season.