Prior to 2008, Force India was known as Jordan F1 then Midland, and finally Spyker before being bought by Vijay Mallya. The name change to Force India in 2008 was made to attract Indian sponsors and bring an Indian driver into the F1 scene.
Over the years under the Force India name, the team has managed to make progress up the field. In the last season, Force India finished a career best fourth in the constructor’s championship. Currently, they are yet again holding the same position. Despite the progress in racing however, the team has not had much success with bringing Indian sponsorships.
“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 flavor. There are some people who believe the current name Force India is restrictive psychologically” said Mallya.
Prior to the current plans of a name change, in 2016 Force India came close to rebranding itself as Aston Martin Racing. However, the deal did not manage to push through. Moreover, Mallya adds that this time around, a proposal is on the table from a sponsor regarding the name change. The team however is still waiting on negotiations for additional sponsorships.
Mallya denies that the name change has "absolutely" anything to do with his current legal situation. Indian authorities are currently claiming £900 million Mallya allegedly owes following the collapse of Kingfisher Airlines. Furthermore, his diplomatic passport was also revoked, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.