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Force India sets up companies pointing towards ‘Force One’ rebrand

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Force India has begun the process of rebranding itself as ‘Force One’ for the 2018 Formula 1 season by setting up six companies in the UK under its proposed name.

Force India entered F1 in 2008 after Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya bought out the Spyker team, placing an emphasis on the national identity of the new operation.

The team has worked its way up the field through its time in F1, finishing a best-ever fourth in the constructors’ championship last year, but shifted its image after BWT sponsorship resulted in a pink livery for 2017.

In a bid to make the team easier to market and open up more commercial opportunities, Force India was reported in the German press earlier this month to be considering renaming itself, with recent company establishments in the UK supporting the stories.

As per Companies House in the UK, between May 31 and June 6, the following six companies were incorporated:

  • Force One Grand Prix Limited
  • Force One Racing Limited
  • Force One Technologies Limited
  • Force One Hospitality Limited
  • Force One Brand Limited
  • Force One Team Limited

All of the companies have been set up with one named officer, Thiruvannamalai Ventkatesan Lakshmi Kanthan, a former director at Force India with ties to Mallya.

Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer explained why the name change was being considered when speaking to Sky Sports over the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend.

“Dropping the India, we’ve had the discussion, I think it makes sense,” Szafnauer said.

“We used to have an Indian GP, we don’t anymore, we had Indian sponsors at one point and now we have none.

“Sometimes India in the name will limit the opportunities, especially for sponsorship, so if we drop that it will broaden our horizons a bit and I think it makes sense.”

F1 2017 driver review: Romain Grosjean

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Romain Grosjean

Team: Haas
Car No.: 8
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Austria)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 28
Championship Position: 13th

After leading Haas’ charge through its debut Formula 1 season in 2016, Romain Grosjean once again stepped up as team leader for the American team through its sophomore campaign despite scoring one point fewer.

Haas did not expect any major step in performance heading into 2017, having dealt with building all-new cars for two different sets of regulations, but the team was able to match its season one points total by the halfway mark this time around.

The big boost was the addition of a second points scoring driver – Kevin Magnussen – to partner Grosjean. Grosjean looked increasingly comfortable at Haas even if the car often presented problems, particularly under braking.

Radio rants were frequent, with Grosjean unable to drive around the issues as Magnussen did. But he was nevertheless able to finish the year as Haas’ top scorer, with his highlight moment being a perfect run to sixth in Austria.

Greater consistency was evident from both Grosjean and Haas through 2017, yet there were still swings in form that need to be ironed out in the future. The team was unable to capitalize on Renault and Toro Rosso’s late season difficulties that could have seen it jump to sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Grosjean once again proved himself to be a very competent and talented racer through 2017, but needs a little more panache – perhaps down to the car more than anything – if he is to put himself in the frame for a top-line drive in the future.

Haas continues to offer a good platform, though, and its third season should be its best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations. It will be a real chance for Grosjean to show what he can do.

Season High: A perfect run to sixth in Austria, leading the midfield cars.

Season Low: Crashing early with Ocon in Brazil, hurting Haas’ constructors’ hopes.