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Force India ponders name change

NEWS STORY
15/06/2017

Vijay Mallya admits that in a bid to attract new sponsors he is considering changing his team's name.

The team initially founded by Eddie Jordan in 1991, and which subsequently morphed into Midland (MF1) and then Spyker following the Irishman's decision to sell it in early 2005, was eventually bought by a consortium led by Vijay Mallya in 2008 and became Force India.

Though the team appeared to shun the only available Indian driver, it initially relied heavily on companies owned by Mallya and other Indian companies for sponsorship.

Now, as the sport enters a new era under the ownership of Liberty Media, and talk of a possible franchise system, Mallya, has revealed that his is considering a change of name or the team, though he stresses the move has nothing to do with his ongoing legal issues.

"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 told Motorsport.com.

"There are some people who believe the current name Force India is restrictive psychologically," he added. "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."

Dismissing the notion that the move is anything to do with his legal issues, which saw him back in court in London as authorities in India seek his extradition as the banks seek to recover $1.4bn owed by Kingfisher Airlines, he admitted: "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. 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."

Previously, Force India was linked with a name change to Aston Martin though the deal subsequently fell through.

Previously, the livery of the Force India cars has reflected the national colours of India however, in a late move, following the unveiling of the team's 2017 contender, a deal with water technology specialists BWT saw the cars turn pink.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Motorsport-fan, 16/06/2017 9:38

"I guess with Vijays current problems, a law firm would be a sensible title sponsor!"

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2. Posted by Thomas1, 16/06/2017 7:58

"How about a name change to "Team Outlaw Mallya Racing""

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3. Posted by F One, 15/06/2017 17:43

"Consignia? Hahaha"

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4. Posted by Spartacus, 15/06/2017 16:51

"I am wondering why the team has not been sold and already should be a under a different name since, Mallya's flee to the UK and pending financial accusations towards him."

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5. Posted by testa rossa, 15/06/2017 12:31

"Pink Panther ?"

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