Vijay Mallya has reportedly taken a step towards dropping the India from the name of his Formula One team, Force India.
According to a report by Autosport, six new, limited companies were registered in the UK on May 31 and June under the names Force One Grand Prix, Force One Racing, Force One Team, Force One Technologies, Force One Hospitality and Force One Brand. The only official listed on them was Dr Thiruvannamalai Laskshimi Kanthan, who is also a director of Force India and three other companies connected with it.
An application to change the team name would have to be approved by the governing FIA and other teams first.
Mallya, who is currently in London and under the scanner of the Indian authorities over unpaid loans associated with Kingfisher Airlines, had earlier mentioned that he was considering changing Force India’s name to make it more globally marketable.
“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,” he had told Motorsport.com.
The team’s chief operating officer, Otmar Szafnauer, elaborated saying, “Force India was born out of Vijay owning the team.”
“Since then we’ve lost the Grand Prix there (in India), the Indian sponsors no longer were interested in sponsoring us. Now we have no Indian sponsors whatsoever, apart from Vijay’s Kingfisher. So it kind of makes sense to change it from India in order to attract sponsors more globally, and not restrict ourselves to being Force India,” Autosport quoted him as saying.