Force India will compete under new name Racing Point Force India following FIA approval
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News August 23, 2018 Updated: 2:14 PM PT
Force India has announced Thursday, that they will start the second half of the Formula One season under a new name, Racing Point Force India. The name change was approved by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) ahead of the Belgium Grand Prix weekend.
A consortium of investors, headed by fashion billionaire Lawrence Stroll, father of Williams’ driver Lance Stroll, bought Force India while the team was on the brink of administration. They now look to secure the team’s future.
"On Monday I stood in front of the workforce at Silverstone and Brackley and applauded the achievements of this team in recent years," Stroll said. "The strength of any company is the people that make it up and it's a huge privilege to begin this exciting new journey with such a talented group of men and women. I've been fortunate to establish and grow a number of successful businesses, but the opportunity to take this team forward to the next level is perhaps the most exciting challenge yet.
"Together with my fellow shareholders, we will invest in new resources and bring fresh energy to empower the workforce to continue racing at the very highest level. We are all passionate about motor racing; we recognize the racers' spirit in Force India, and we are extremely motivated to make this team even more special in the years ahead."
The name change means that the team will start with zero points in the constructors’ championship this weekend.
Szafnauer, who served as Force India’s COO, will become the new Team Principal and CEO with Bob Fernley stepping down from his role as deputy team principal.
Following the announcement of his new appointment, Szafnauer spoke on the team’s future going forward.
“As we return from the summer break and prepare for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix, I want to thank all the staff for their resolve and loyalty during the period of transition. Now that we are under new ownership and the future of the team is secure, we can focus on doing what we do best – going racing. We have a great management team in place and this stability will be extremely valuable as we begin the new era. I would like to thank Bob Fernley for his contribution to the success of this team over the last ten years and recognize the support of the previous shareholders for making Force India what it is today,” he said.
Szafnauer has played a significant role in Force India’s progress and development since joining the team in 2010.
Drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will continue as the team’s current driver lineup and will retain their points in the driver’s championship. The team will also retain their current pink and white livery for the remainder of the season.
Weighing in on Friday’s announcement, FIA President Jean Todt said: “I am very pleased that a strong, positive outcome has been reached and welcome the midseason entry of Racing Point Force India. Creating an environment of financial stability in Formula One is one of the key challenges faced by the sport, however thanks to the hard work of the FIA, the Joint Administrators, Racing Point and Formula One Management we have a situation now that safeguards the future for all of the highly-talented employees, and will maintain the fair and regulated championship competition for the second half of the season.”
Formula 1 Chairman and CEO Chase Carey added: "We are very pleased that the situation around Racing Point Force India has been resolved and that the team will continue to race in Formula 1. It is also very gratifying that in partnership with the stakeholders involved we have been able to safeguard the livelihoods of the many hundreds of people working at its Silverstone base. It's enormously important that we have a full grid of competitive, capable teams in Formula 1 and we are confident that Racing Point Force India will go from strength to strength in the future."