Force India, 2017

Force India not being sold to energy drink company

2018 F1 season

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Energy drinks company Rich Energy is not planning a takeover of the Force India F1 team, RaceFans understands.

Esteban Ocon, Force India, Yas Marina, 2017
Force India were fourth in the championship last year
A report yesterday claimed the British energy drink company was part of a consortium planning a £200 million takeover of the team. However RaceFans has learned that while there was contact between the parties, negotiations ceased three months ago.

Force India is jointly owned by the Mol family, which has been co-owners since 2007, Vijay Mallya, who purchased the team in 2008, and Sahara India Pariwar which bought into the company in 2011.

The team is yet to confirm whether it will change its name ahead of the new team. A new name had been under consideration to make the team more appealing to potential sponsors.

Force India has announced its driver line-up for the two weeks of pre-season testing which begin at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday. The team is expected to reveal its new car in the pit lane at 8.00am local time.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 5 comments on “Force India not being sold to energy drink company”

    1. If Force India want a new name, how about Sahara? They’re already an owner, the title sponsor, it opens the door for other sponsors (not being tied to India and I doubt the geographic location of the Sahara would be an issue), and it doesn’t sound like a bad fictional team, so it ticks all the boxes. Furthermore it could even allow them to have a second title sponsor if they ever wanted to. Naming an independent team after a sponsor has been done several times in the past so it’s not a new idea

      1. I do agree it’s good and catchy. But if three parties own a team, I don’t see them agreeing to name the whole organization after only one of them. Sahara would have massive publicity the other two parties won’t. Business-wise, it seems unlikely. Still, Sahara-Mercedes, sounds pretty awesome after all.

        1. Yup, Sahara is a great name, and they might even convince the FIA that it’s the same team and keep the sponsorship money.

      2. I do not think so.

        To start with, Sahara has two meanings – desert and in hindi, dependable. If you are gunning for the later, then the brand by that name is already embroiled in major controversy in India and few other countries and is infamous, to say the least. The guy behind Sahara is in jail and government is trying to sell properties owned by Sahara to pay back the fine he owes to the Securities and Exchange Board of India. FI though is not on the radar of the government, but the investments made by the company are.

        In South Africa, the company named Sahara run by the Indian origin Guptas is also infamous for its corruption of local government. So, nope I do not see the brand to be taken positively in any places used.

        Force India in itself is a good enough name to be honest. Not because I am Indian, however because they have settled an image of underdogs performing better than some of the most famed names consequently. A name change at this time may be uncalled for – especially given that they already have a major sponsor in BWT. And I also think Vijay Mallaya is a every bit religious to consider change of name a bad omen.

        BWT hardly has any sales or operations in India, and they still decided to sponsor them. At the best, some of the brands FI courted may wanted to say no, but told them a lie that “India” in the name is a factor. To be honest, I have seen many of us who comment on RaceFans / F1 Fanatic are generally proud of what FI has achieved irrespective of the India in the name.

        It is easy to be wrong when I am not in the middle on ground to realize what is going on behind the curtain, however this is one team I want least to change and keep up with what they have been doing – being the winning underdogs.

      3. Sahara is a great name? When Roy Sahara is in jail for over a year already and still failing to repay the people he conned out of their money?

        I am sure that would be as stupid a move as naming it for VJ right now.

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