Force India, the dominant midfield team in Formula One, is reportedly considering a name change to attract more international sponsors.
Force India has come out as the dominant midfield team in the 2017 season. Although Red Bull threatens their grasp from time to time, no other team has performed with such consistency and strategy in the midfield as the folks over in the pinkmobile. Force India has managed to show that despite the inconsistent distribution in funding across the teams is absolutely no barrier to their success.
While the team may have managed to eke out considerable success for itself, they are refusing to stop there. The team has opened up about the potential for a name change, as it would see such a move benefit their standing in the eyes of an international community – rather than strictly focusing on India. Force India’s owner, Vijay Mallya, has shared his thoughts regarding the proposed change, saying that he believes the current moniker to be too limiting:
“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.
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.”
– Vijay Mallya
Whatever the outcome Mallya and his squad of shareholders come to, one thing is for certain: Force India has no desire to remain nipping at the heels of the leaders. While the gap between them and the top three is much more considerable than, say, Red Bull to Ferrari / Mercedes, the pink brigade has shown that its pre-season sentiment was true: It’s now how much money you’ve got that matters, it’s how you use it.
While the reason behind the possible name change has been officially stated to be the desire to open up the team to international sponsorship, there are some who have pointed out that the real reason could be due to Mallya’s legal issues with the country of India. Although Vijay was quick to admit to the tensions between himself and the state, he downplayed any sort of connection between it and the name-change:
“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.”
– Vijay Mallya
While the revamped title would certainly mark the start of a new era for Force India, there is also the standing issue of team orders after Sergio Perez blockade of his teammate in Canada. Should the team decide to implement orders in favor of one driver over the other, the whole of its future could head down a markedly different path.