Friday afternoon burial: Phillips leaves Force India
Popping into inboxes worldwide in the traditional Friday afternoon graveyard slot is the news that Ian Phillips is to leave Force India. Ian has been with the team since it began, as Jordan, but his relationship with team principal Vijay Mallya has been frosty since he broke ranks and prematurely announced Giancarlo Fisichella’s move to Ferrari at the Belgian GP last year.
Ian entered motorsport as a journalist, on Autosport’s national news beat, in the 1960s – working with Paddy McNally, who now runs the Paddock Club at grands prix. Even after moving on to the commercial side he retained the hack’s nose for gossip; many of the breaking news stories you’ll have read over the years will have originated over coffee and a cigarette in the Leyton House/Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India motorhome.
Word is that Ian has known for some time that his departure was desired, but he has been holding on for the right pecuniary package to be put on the table. It’s possible that he will go into business with Eddie Jordan, following Anthony Hamilton into the market for grooming new talent.