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.”