Vijay Mallya-owned Force India to undergo name change before start of new F1 season
What’s the story?
Vijay Mallya-owned Force India are all set to undergo a name change before the start of the 2018 F1 season in March. Force India director Otmar Szafnauer confirmed the news to the press during the official unveiling of the new car with its safety 'halo' on the sidelines of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
In case you didn’t know...
Force India Formula One Team participated in its first Grand Prix back in the year 2008. Since then it has gone from strength to strength and results have been outstanding in the past few seasons. Force India finished fourth in the constructors’ standings in the last two seasons and the management is gearing up to fight for every point this year. The team has retained both its drivers - Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon for the upcoming season.
The heart of the matter
Force India has been working on a new identity since late last year as it is believed that the team's connections to India have compromised sponsorship opportunities. Its new car, VJM11 was launched in Barcelona on Monday under the Force India name but as it stands, a different name will appear on the cars when the first Grand Prix of the season takes place in Melbourne on March 25.
Szafnauer said that final decision regarding the name change hasn’t been made but in all likelihood, the formalities will be completed before the first race of the season.
“The name will probably change before the first Grand Prix,” Szafnauer told the press in Barcelona. “We haven’t quite decided and it also needs to go through the formal approval process.”
Force India have done well to finish fourth in the previous two editions and their next target will be to challenge the big three – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.
A team has the authority to chop and change its name according to its wish. In this case, sponsorship issues might have forced Force India to think about a name change. However, Indians might be a little disappointed if the name of the nation is dropped.