The Force India Formula 1 team will compete in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix under a new name. From this weekend onwards, the team will be christened, Racing Point Force India.
The change of names comes on the back of the sale of the team’s assets to a consortium headed by Lawrence Stroll. Unfortunately, the buyers were unable to purchase the team’s entry. This was largely due to complications relating to former owner Vijay Mallya’s legal situation in India. As a result, it put the team’s participation in this weekend’s race in jeopardy.
The team’s cars have already passed pre-race scrutineering. Although they entered under the name Sahara Force India F1 Team, the branding has been removed. Now, there are no traces of the Sahara Force India name on the team’s motorhome, trucks and pit wall gantry.
It is understood that chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer is to be announced as the new team principal. This in the wake of official confirmation of Robert Fernley’s departure from the team. Fernley has been with the team since its debut in 2008 and was considered as Vijay Mallya’s second-in-command. When it became clear that Mallya’s off-track woes were impeding him from being with the team, Fernley took a more active role. But now, with the consortium, he has been informed that he is not part of the organisation.
With regard to the drivers, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon are still with the team. One idea that was put forward was to retract all of the team’s points and have the re-christened team start afresh. Speaking to media at the circuit earlier today, Sergio Perez said it would be “business as usual” for the team this weekend. Now, all the team needs to do is focus on the race weekend and getting a good points haul.