It was previously reported that Force India was considering a name change in hopes of attracting more international sponsors. However, recent documents registered with Companies House in the UK make it seem as though the team has already taken the first steps into the name change. Their new name? Force One.
Six businesses with various versions of the Force One names – Force One Grand Prix, Force One Racing, Force One Team, Force One Technology, Force One Hospitality and Force One Brand – were registered on May 31 and June 6. Currently, the only director listed is Thiruvannamalai Laskshimi Kanthan, an accountant, financial consultant, and long time associate of Vijay Mallya. Kanthan is also presently a director of the Force India team, along with three other companies connected to it.
Ten years ago, the Force India team was born after Vijay Mallya bought and re-branded the Spyker F1 Team. He hoped to bring in Indian companies to sponsor the team and hold a Grand Prix in his home country.
“Since then we’ve lost the Grand Prix there, the Indian sponsors no longer were interested in sponsoring us. Now we have no Indian sponsors whatsoever, apart from Vijay’s Kingfisher. So it kind of makes sense to change it from India in order to attract sponsors more globally, and not restrict ourselves to being Force India.” said Otmar Szafnauer, COO.
Name changes in Formula 1 were allowed but were not usually an easy thing to do, especially under previous owner Bernie Ecclestone. Formula 1 teams needed to gain approval from both the FIA and the Formula 1 commission before permission is granted. Force India is confident however, that it will not be problematic.