Force India considering team name change

Force India is considering changing its name to give it a more "international flavour" and make the Formula 1 team more attractive to potential new sponsors, says boss Vijay Mallya.

Force India considering team name change
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner with the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10

Mallya bought the team that was formerly known as Jordan, Midland and then Spyker and rebranded it Force India in 2008.

It aimed to attract Indian sponsors and bring an Indian driver into F1.

Since then, Force India has made progress up the field, finishing a career-best fourth in the constructors' championship last year and it currently holds that position after seven races.

But while it has delivered impressive performances and added sponsors, such as water technology specialists BWT this season, the team has not had much success bringing Indian companies onboard.

This is not the first time the team has considered a name change, with Force India coming close to rebranding itself as Aston Martin Racing for 2016, only for the deal to collapse at the final hurdle.

Mallya said: "There is a growing feeling that maybe since we are a much-improved team in terms of performance and attracting more international sponsors, and sadly less Indian sponsors, there is a debate as to why the name should not be changed to give it a more international flavour.

"There are some people who believe the current name Force India is restrictive psychologically.

"I'm considering along with the other shareholders what steps to take but it's a major decision and one that is not going to be taken in a hurry without due consideration.

"More importantly, we have to look at the way the F1 scenario is unfolding under Liberty ownership. If they follow the NFL model, then of course the name becomes even more important because it's a franchise model where the focus is on the name. But the current pattern may continue.

"These are all issues I'll consider with the other shareholders before arriving at any final conclusion."

Mallya said there was a "proposal on the table" from a sponsor regarding the name change while adding the team is in "negotiations for some additional sponsorships as well".

The Indian businessman said the fact he is considering a name change has "absolutely" nothing to do with his current legal situation.

Authorities in India are chasing Mallya for around £900million they claim he owes in the wake of the collapse of one of his former businesses, Kingfisher Airlines, in 2013.

Mallya had his diplomatic passport revoked last April, with a warrant issued for his arrest, and he has since been residing in the UK.

"The fact the country of India and me are not the best partners is something that has been going on for a few years now," said Mallya. "This is nothing new.

"I haven't in the last few years considered any name change. It's purely to do with current sponsorship, a proposal on the table and sponsorship going forward for the team."

shares
comments
Bottas says he had Hamilton's pace in Canada

Previous article

Bottas says he had Hamilton's pace in Canada

Next article

Haas: Dangerous Sainz 'needs glasses' after F1 Canadian GP crash

Haas: Dangerous Sainz 'needs glasses' after F1 Canadian GP crash
Load comments
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021