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Mallya still undecided on Force India's new name

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Mallya still undecided on Force India's new name
By:
Jul 15, 2017, 9:43 AM

Force India owner Vijay Mallya insists that he has yet to make up his mind in regards to changing the name of his team to Force One in 2018.

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Sahara Force India Formula One Team Owner
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner
 Chase Carey, Chairman, Formula One, Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director, Force India
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India VJM10
Dr. Vijay Mallya, Sahara Force India Team Owner, Otmar Szafnauer, Sahara Force India F1 Chief Operating Officer

As previously reported, several Force One company names have been formally registered in the UK, but that doesn’t mean that the team has already committed to the change.

Mallya has made it clear that a more generic name will have marketing advantages.

“I just want to clarify that we have not decided on a name change yet,” he said.

“Yes, we are very actively considering a name change. And the only reason for that name change is not what is happening to me in India.

"The reason is that Force India becomes very territorially or geographically restrictive.

“When I started out and bought the team 10 years ago, there was a reason why I named the team Force India - only because I wanted to capture the imaginations and aspirations of millions of Indians who are motorsport fans, I hoped that there would be a race in India, and I hoped that there would be many Indian sponsors.

“The race in India happened, but sadly has been lost. The Indian sponsorship did not meet my expectations, because I guess all Indian companies are spending their money on cricket, and not in F1, which is more of an international audience.

"Then it was time that we realised that our sponsorship acquisition had to be more global in nature, and that if the name of the team was restrictive, as in the case of Force India, that we might be at a disadvantage.”

Mallya says there is no deadline for any decision: “Is it going to happen, when it’s going to happen, I’m not able to say, because even I don’t know.

"It all depends on opportunities and discussions that we’re having with sponsors, both existing as well as potential future sponsors.

“I’m keen though personally to retain some continuity, so I’m hoping to keep the 'Force' part of it and change the 'India' part of it. How it pans out is yet to be seen.”

In the past, now-former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone took a keen personal interest in new team names,.

Mallya says that he hadn’t yet cleared Force One with F1’s new bosses.

“I have not even gone to Liberty as yet. We were having a chat at our management meeting when the subject of making our platform more global came up for discussion.

"One of the ideas that everybody liked was Force One. The first thing that everybody does is to see whether the name is available. Yes, it’s available, so register. That was the sequence of events behind the registration of companies with Force One.

“As and when we think of something else, we’ll go through the same drill. We’ll first see whether the name is available, because if it isn’t, it’s a waste of time, and if it is, we’ll register it. It’s only 19 quid to register a name, so we can well afford to register as many [as we want].

“It looks as if my registration of Force One automatically conveyed to everybody that we had already arrived at a decision, and that the team’s name was imminently changing, which was not the case.”

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Force India
Author Adam Cooper