Pressure mounts on Force India to change name

Force India is under pressure from potential sponsors to change its name, with the team still considering several alternatives.

Team boss Vijay Mallya initiated the process last year in a bid to provide a more generic and global image to the team, and distance the outfit from its Indian roots.

Several companies were incorporated in the UK in 2017 and registered under a variety of names, with ‘Force One’ seen as a possible new denomination until Liberty Media expressed an unfavorable opinion, believing the moniker could be shortened to F1.

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Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer admits sponsors are pushing for the word ‘India’ to be dropped.

“Yes, a couple of potential sponsors said that if we don’t change, then we don’t come on board,” he told The Citizen.

“I think they just thought if they are going to sponsor a team, they will sponsor a team which is not really tied to one country.”

Szafnauer confirmed a list of alternatives is being drawn up, and would not rule out the word ‘Force’ also being dropped.

“We haven’t decided,” he said. “So it’s hard to say.”

The formal name change process , which includes changing the name of its chassis, must go through the F1 Commission, with an approbation from other teams also necessary.

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Szafnauer also revealed that the Silverstone-based team will have “an enhanced version” of its pink livery for 2018 linked to its sponsorship deal with Austrian water company BWT.

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