Force India is still evaluating the possibility of changing the team’s name ahead of the start of the 2018 Formula 1 season.
Last year the team admitted the ‘India’ part of its name was potentially restrictive when it came to certain global partnership opportunities, leading to a number of alternatives being evaluated. While there is yet to be a final decision taken, , with a planned car launch in Barcelona the latest date it would confirm any such change.
This season’s car will also retain the pink livery first introduced last year as part of a partnership with BWT, with an evolution of that color scheme planned.
Chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer believes it is crucial for Force India to take advantage of the current commercial opportunities in the near future, with the team keen to expand its factory and run the whole team from a single facility.
“We’re only planning [a factory expansion] now because it does take away a little bit from car development and also requires some financial resource,” Szafnauer told RACER. “So we’ve got the plans in place, but we haven’t quite pushed the button yet on the rest of it. If it happens at all this year, it will be around the August break.
“It will be dependent on the commercial performance of our commercial team. Having finished fourth two years in a row, I think Force India enables some good value commercial opportunities here. We’re a good team to work with, and we perform on-track. I think we’re one of the most efficient teams, and therefore we can attract some sponsors that would like to partner up with us.
“The more sponsors we can attract, the easier it will be to get everybody under one roof. Getting everyone under one roof isn’t really dependent on the on-track performance, it’s more the commercial performance.
“On-track success will hopefully open up even more commercial opportunities, and with those opportunities we will be able to get everybody under one roof. Once we are co-located you naturally gain efficiency, and that once again will yield more on-track performance. So it’s success breeding success, a virtuous circle.”