Force India will remain Force India for now

Date published: March 23 2018

Force India won’t change their name this season after shareholders failed reach an agreement, revealed deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

Last year team owner Vijay Mallya spoke of his desire to change the team’s name, wanting to drop the ‘India’ part in order to make it more appealing to global sponsors.

An announcement was expected prior to the start of this season, however, Fernley revealed in Australia that the shareholders couldn’t make a decision so the team will remain Force India for now.

“It’s a shareholders’ decision, and they’ve got to take their time to get it right,” he told Autosport.

“They’ve got to decide where they want to go and how they want to position it – it’s not something that you should be doing as a five-minute decision.

“Force India had a very clear brand objective when it was launched, and today it’s a recognised brand within F1, so whatever you do for the future has to be really measured and well thought out.

“There’s got to be a good reason for wanting to do it, and that has to come from the shareholders.

“It could happen in five years’ time, it could happen in 10 years’ time.”

As for rumours that British drink company Rich Energy is set to buy the F1 team, Fernley said: “It’s one of those things where if I look at my file of people who have made enquiries about Force India, it’s probably about a foot high.

“If I look at the people who’ve gone beyond that, it’s zero – I think that puts it into context.

“Have they made an approach to us? Yes, they have, but so have many other people, and it’s gone nowhere.”