Formula One’s hard-nosed team bosses revealed their compassionate side on Friday when they agreed unanimously to allow the Racing Point Force India team to keep the prize money earned under previous ownership.
Team boss Otmar Szafnauer, appointed following the takeover of the team by a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, confirmed that all of the ‘new’ Force India team’s rivals had agreed to support the decision.
The team has, however, lost its 2018 constructors’ championship points and, having been sixth, will start afresh without a point on the board.
“The remaining nine teams have signed a document that enables us to keep the money that Sahara Force India earned in years past,” said Szafnauer.
“We start from zero points and we forego the points because they belong to Sahara Force India, which is not an entrant anymore.
“We will do the best we can and try to score as many points as we can in the remaining races and see where we end up. That will determine some of the prize fund for the following year.”
Racing Point Force India’s new boss wants their fans to stick with the team’s old image and name.
Szafnauer said he wanted continuity despite the Silverstone-based outfit’s takeover by the consortium who took Force India out of administration by buying their assets.
“The chassis name remains Force India,” he told reporters at the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday.
“It’s the same car, same sponsors, same people and same assets that were purchased and I think continuity of name is something the Formula One Group want so that it doesn’t confuse the fans.
“If the car looks the same and has the same sponsors and same people and same drivers, but you call it something different, that can be a bit confusing.
“So we will stay Force India until the end of the year and then decide what to call it thereafter.”
Force India were sixth with 59 points before the change of owner, but are now bottom of the championship.
“I’m confident we can recover,” said Szafnauer. “We have a good car, the same drivers and a good team.”