Force India Formula 1 team considering name change

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

Force India Formula 1 team considering name change

Mallya bought the outfit that was known as Jordan, Midland and Spyker, and rebranded it Force India in 2008, aiming to bring Indian sponsors and a driver from the nation into F1.

Force India has progressed up the field, finishing a career-best fourth in the constructors' championship last year and it currently holds that position after seven races in 2017.

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

"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," Mallya said.

"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."

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

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".

He 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 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
Formula 1 drivers' briefing video a one-off for now
Previous article

Formula 1 drivers' briefing video a one-off for now

Next article

Renault says Robert Kubica showed he has the pace for F1 in test

Renault says Robert Kubica showed he has the pace for F1 in test
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022