MONTMELO, Spain — Force India is likely to change its name before the first race of the 2018 Formula One season.
Force India was the last team to launch its new car, the VJM11, which it did in the pit-lane ahead of the start of this week’s pre-season test. Notably, it did so without any ‘Force India’ branding on the garage, while the name has been absent from official team kit in Barcelona.
Team owner Vijay Mallya has previously said a name with more “international flavour” would help attract more sponsors. Over the off-season, a number of different companies were registered — all featuring the word ‘Force’ — only for the team to appear on the first FIA entry list with an unchanged name.
The team is waiting until the two weeks of testing is completed before arriving at a decision.
“This is an interim shirt, and we’ll get the real ones for the first race — a little bit like the car!” team COO Otmar Szafnauer said about the lack of branding on the kit this week.
“We haven’t quite decided [the name], and it also needs to go through the formal approval process, and we haven’t done that yet. We’ll see. There’s a probability that it will change by the first race.”
He then went on to confirm the likelihood of a change is “higher than 50/50”.