SFI has 'a few options' over name - Mallya

SFI has 'a few options' over name - Mallya

15 July 2017 – Force India Team Principal Vijay Mallya says the squad has "a few options" over a potential name change, as it bids to introduce a more international flavour.

Mallya acquired the Silverstone-based team, which was then known as Spyker, in late 2007, and renamed it as Force India for the 2008 season.

Force India has transformed itself from a backmarker to Formula 1's leading midfield outfit across the past decade, taking a high of fourth in last year's standings, a position it holds again in 2017.

It emerged last month that Force India was considering a name change for 2018, with six companies labelled 'Force One' registered with Companies House in the UK by a long-time associate of Mallya.

Mallya, in a rare paddock appearance at the British Grand Prix, explained the reasoning behind Force India's change of approach, and confirmed that several options are being weighed up.

"It was Force India because it was the first time that an Indian team showed up on a Formula 1 grid," Mallya said, explaining the initial choice.

"It met the aspirations of millions of Indians who never thought that would be possible.

"We were running around in P23 and P24 and the then management seemed to be pretty happy with it.

"Since we have consistently improved and are now a serious contender on the grid, it's time to broaden our horizons, attract more international sponsors, and sadly, there is no Indian GP anymore.

"Indian sponsors seem to be passionate about putting all their money into cricket.

"We must appeal to a more international audience, so the idea of changing the name of the team was mooted.

"We've had several discussions. No decision has been taken, but we have listed a few options. We'll take it forward at an appropriate time."

Mallya also dismissed suggestions that the consideration of removing the 'India' moniker was connected to his ongoing legal troubles with his home country.

"Let that be kept to one side, and let the legal process take its own course," he said.

"The potential removal of the word 'India' has nothing to do with the events surrounding me.

"As I said before, we need to appeal to a more international audience, we need to cater to the needs of sponsors who have global businesses."

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