Force India F1 Team Considering Name Change, Co-Owner Mallya Says
Formula 1 team Force India co-Owner Vijay Mallya said that the team "is considering changing its name" to give it a more "international flavour" and become "more attractive to potential new sponsors," according to Barretto & Rencken of MOTORSPORT. Mallya bought the team that was formerly known as Jordan, Midland and then Spyker and rebranded it Force India in '08. It aimed to "attract Indian sponsors and bring an Indian driver into F1." Since then, Force India "has made progress up the field, finishing a career-best fourth in the constructors' championship last year." But while it "has delivered impressive performances and added sponsors, such as water technology specialists BWT this season," the team has "not had much success bringing Indian companies onboard." Mallya: "There is a growing feeling that maybe since we are a much-improved team in terms of performance and attracting more international sponsors, and sadly less Indian sponsors, there is a debate as to why the name should not be changed to give it a more int'l flavor" (MOTORSPORT, 6/14).
MORE LEGAL TROUBLE? REUTERS' Michael Holden reported Mallya, the "flamboyant Indian liquor and aviation tycoon, 61, was arrested by British police in April" on behalf of the Indian authorities, who accused him of fraud. Mallya's lawyer, Ben Watson, told a hearing at London's Westminster Magistrates' court on Tuesday that India "was believed to be preparing a second extradition request with further separate charges." Watson: "I don't know its contents." India is seeking Mallya's extradition "over unpaid loans tied to his defunct Kingfisher Airlines after the businessman fled to Britain" in March '16 (REUTERS, 6/13).