Force India will stick with its current name for the 2018 Formula 1 season, although it could still consider dropping 'India' in the future.
Team owner Dr Vijay Mallya has considered dropping India from the name in order to open up more sponsorship opportunities, and as recently as last month the team admitted that a change could be made before the Australian GP, should it decide to follow that route.
However as the first race approached it became clear that the window of opportunity to make such a change – which has to be acceptable to both the FIA and the F1 organisation – was closing, at least for 2018.
“It’s a shareholders’ decision, and they’ve got to take their time to get it right,” deputy team principal Bob Fernley told Motorsport.com.
“They’ve got to decide where they want to go and how they want to position it. It’s not something that you should be doing as a five-minute decision.
“Force India had a very clear brand objective when it was launched, and today it’s a recognised brand within F1. So whatever you do for the future has to be really measured and well thought out going forward.
“There’s got to be a good reason for wanting to do it, and that has to come from the shareholders. It’s not a team decision at the end of the day. It’s just got to be taken very cautiously, very carefully, and when they’ve got the right chance to really look at it, then they can make their decisions.
"It could happen in five years’ time, it could happen in 10 years’ time. I just don’t think it’s an important element.”
Meanwhile Fernley dismissed recent suggestions that fledgling British drink company Rich Energy is poised to take a stake in the Silverstone team – but admitted that there had been a conversation.
“It’s one of those things where if I look at my file of people who have made enquiries about Force India, it’s probably about a foot high! If I look at the people who’ve gone beyond that, it’s zero. I think that puts it into context.
“Have they made an approach to us? Yes they have, but so have many other people, and it’s gone nowhere.”
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