Sergio Perez, Force India, Interlagos, 2018

Force India officially becomes Racing Point after dropping plan to use Lola name

2019 F1 season

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Racing Point has been confirmed by the FIA as the new identity of the team previously known as Force India.

RaceFans has learned from a source that the F1 Commission formally approved name changes last Thursday for two of the 10 teams on the grid for the 2019 season.

The first was Force India’s rebranding as Racing Point, which was indicated when the FIA published its 2019 entry list in December. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer previously indicated new name was a placeholder and that a final choice of identity would be revealed ahead of the new season.

A Racing Point spokesperson declined to comment when approached by RaceFans.

However RaceFans understands the team’s efforts to acquire an alternative name were not successful. These included approaches to individuals holding the rights to heritage F1 team names, one of which was Lola.

Lola-Ford T97/30, 1997
Lola abandoned its last F1 project in 1997
The Lola team competed in F1 sporadically from the sixties to the nineties. Its last entry into the championship ended ignominiously: the team collapsed after it failed to qualify for the season-opening round of 1997.

The F1 Commission approved Force India’s change of team and chassis name to Racing Point by a majority of 22 votes in favour versus two against following a four-day e-vote process.

The other name change, which was approved unanimously, will see the Sauber name disappear from the F1 entry list completely for the first time since 1992, before it entered the sport. The team has rebranded as Alfa Romeo, as it announced on Friday.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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59 comments on “Force India officially becomes Racing Point after dropping plan to use Lola name”

  1. Which begs the question, why did 2 of the voters vote against approving this name change?

    1. And who were they?
      AFAIK the F1 Commission members are: 10 teams, 8 promotors, 2 sponsors, 1 engine manufacturer, Pirelli, FIA, and FOM.
      But I also recall that the 10 teams have 12 votes.

      1. > And who were they?

        People with good taste? Racing Point sounds like the local garage where they sell you trashy car mods.

        1. What do people with good taste make of ‘Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow’?
          Sounds a bit like a thrift shop, @m-bagattini.

          I understand that’s where RBR send their racers who are over the use-by date ;)

          1. @coldfly don’t even get me started with Mission Winnow. I don’t even understand that name in the context of their product, it’s really awful. Here in Italy, we have those “slot rooms” where people go to lose their wages: Mission Winnow sounds like one of those.

            But at least Ferrari can have whatever sponsor they want and will always be called Ferrari.

            I see RBR drivers more like “ready to use” than expired. They can be non-WC material, but good for other roles!

          2. If you say it really quickly it kind of sounds like Marlboro.

            Which is the entire point. Just think they’re saying Ferrari Marlboro.

  2. Interesting. On the one hand, a real shame that they didn’t succeed in getting a nice name from history, which would be much better than Racing Point’s bland, descriptive name. On the other, as long as the old name has nothing to do with the team, it would feel a bit odd to have that old name involved.
    If only Sauber was being kept…

    1. I prefer racing point, sounds better than most unrecognisable f2, f3 etc car names, and better than one man’s name representing a ‘team’. In the old days yes, it made sense as the team owner was involved with the production of the car. Worse name ever was Brawn when he inherited a great Honda chassis with a powerful Mercedes engine. Just glad they didn’t go with Stroll GP for this one.

      1. You say that as if Brawn hadn’t been heavily involved in the development of that chassis.

    2. I hate the cultural appropriation that has crept into F1 though its been about longer than you think, Jaguar for example. RBR to be Aston but no more, maybe. The Enstone team (great name in its own right) buying Lotus’ name off a shelf. Complete nonsense and if anything reduces credibility. The ‘ego maniacs’ that just named the team after themselves, McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, Jordan and so on had the right idea. I’m surprised the FIA doesn’t control. Maybe they don’t care. Maybe it doesn’t actually matter. But it does to me.

      1. I think this is the third time I’ve heard of someone attempting to buy the Lola name and failing. Does nobody take a hint in the paddock?

  3. However RaceFans understands the team’s efforts to acquire an alternative name were not successful. These included approaches to individuals holding the rights to heritage F1 team names, one of which was Lola.

    Any name is better than just buying a heritage name just for the sake of apparent legitimacy, without any true connection to the name. I’m glad they didn’t get any such historic name.

    Racing Point is just fine without that mouthful of RPFI. Also, as long as the team and drivers deliver, they could be named “My car runs on mozzarella” for all I care.

    1. @phylyp: The Tifosi might be asiagonistic to your team name unless they move the factory to the Campania region.

      I would prefer a little more imaginative, fashionable team moniker. But, with their new driver, Racing Pointers could be descriptive and prescriptive enough for a season or two.

    2. It would have to be: “My car runs on tequila and maple syrup…”

    3. I would have preferred Jordan as it’s linked to the team, but that might have been too expensive.

      Spyker and even Midland are old car manufacturer names though without a real heritage in F1 and I only prefer them slightly over that cheese name you suggested.

      1. @coldfly – does EJ still own the rights to the Jordan name? Or did that go away with his team?

        1. I believe it’s part of the team’s intangible assets, though the by-laws prescribe when actually using it everyone has to wear flashy shirts ;)

          1. Pink kit would do the trick, wouldn’t it? :-)

            Thanks for the answer, as well.

    4. > My car runs on mozzarella

      Good mozzarella is well over 10€/Kg, I would stick to petrol @phylyp!

      1. Maybe it’s the dodgy mozarella my local supermarket keeps chucking at me at 12 p per ball…

    5. Duncan Snowden
      4th February 2019, 12:21

      Jordan would have been fitting, and I can’t believe they didn’t try.

      Or they could have gone to one of the low-volume manufacturers in the UK, like Ginetta, Westfield, or Noble. That would have been cool. Racing Point’s a terrible name. Mind you, I thought Force India was too, and I got used to it, so…

      1. @coldfly & Duncan – agreed, Jordan might have been the only meaningful historical name for them.

        @jimmi-cynic @dieterrencken @m-bagattini – I’m sorry guys, I was commenting in the midst of hunger pangs! Won’t happen again. Experiment for tomorrow – comment after a few shots of tequila. ;-)

        Racing Point’s a terrible name. Mind you, I thought Force India was too

        Ha, so the latter part of last year must’ve been the worst of both worlds for you!

        1. Duncan Snowden
          4th February 2019, 17:30

          Heh. :) No, as I said, I got used to it over time. It’ll be kind of weird not to see it on the grid this year, actually.

    6. It’s even worse when one considers Racing Point had at least two decent legacy names in its own history. It doesn’t need to borrow anyone else’s legacy!

    7. Any name is better than just buying a heritage name just for the sake of apparent legitimacy…

      @phylyp Indeed!

  4. I think it’s a shame they didn’t go with Jordan Grand Prix, taking the team back to its roots. If they keep the pink, they could have put a panther on the nose!

  5. It certainly would have put in a Kink in my day if they had revived the Lola name…

    1. Well, I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
      Why it sounds like a Merc and races like a van

      1. I knew someone out there would get that reference… :)

        1. And they could have been sponsored by Cherry Cola. La-la-la-looo-la.

        2. Keith Crossley
          5th February 2019, 21:36

          Yeah – I was going “wait a minute, that’s…”.

  6. Shadowm or Arrows is better name than Lola.

  7. I’m with @phylyp Reviving a name such an iconic name like Lola? i rather have a a team willing to write its own story instead of leeching off popularity from another name. The Force India name itself felt like a joke back in 2008 but after years of doing well, it’s a recognisable mark in modern history of F1. It created it’s own heritage, in a way…

    That being said, Racing Point is a very bland, uninspiring name for a F1 team!

    1. i rather have a a team willing to write its own story

      @fer-no65 – that sums it up just perfectly.

  8. If they wanted a historical name, they could have gone with Jordan or Force India where the roots of this team are. Jordan entered 250 grands prix. But I’d rather the Stroll’s be put aside from f1 heritage.

  9. One thing, I think most people here are f1 loyalists, but let’s think from a casual fan watching f1, or new fans.. Racing point is a simple easy to remember name. Manufacturer names are easy to know and follow, but something like lola, brabham, tyrrell, Stewart, they are less attractive I believe

  10. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    4th February 2019, 12:47

    Should’ve gone with “Chaparral” or even “Morgan”.

  11. You spend millions of dollars on an F1 team and call it Racing Point. wow

    1. So do Haas,William’s and McLaren so what’s your point, if not for the owners the name would be just fine.

      1. Haas, Williams and Mclaren are named after the founder. Like Ferrari, Stewart, Jordan, Brawn, etc. They werent made up from scratch.

        Of course you dont have to use this tradition and can name the team whatever you want. Like Red Bull. But Racing Point?? Is this what you came up with as a name when you could chose anything?

        They tried to buy a different name that already has some history (Brabham and Lola) but failed.

        Even Stroll GP would have been better. Create your own history.

  12. So whoever came up with racingpoint as the name.. will be little embarrassed i guess.

    Racingpoint and Racefans can do a tieup maybe? RacingLines is already there!

  13. What, they couldn’t get “Jordan” back? :)

    1. Maybe EJ charged too much…

      1. Maybe EJ didn’t want his legacy sullied?

  14. What’s the Racing Point? How long will it take Lance Stroll to score any?

    I’m pleased Sauber had a decent final season in terms of performance – Kimi driving one again just for one year would have been nice but him and Alfa looks and sounds like a proper works team, at least as much as the early-80s effort was.

  15. My automatic mental picture, whenever I hear ‘Lola’, is that 1997 Mastercard thing. I was early in my obsessiveness back then but some things just stick in the mind and that’s one of them. Not the other stuff Lola did, or the song, or the showgirl, or my mate’s late guinea pig… always the Mastercard car.

  16. So a second name change, will they now loose their column 1 money?
    I doubt it, Liberty are changing the rules as they go along, not to unanimous approval.
    Meanwhile where is VJ now? Since his appeal against extradition was unsuccessful he has disappeared from public view, has he slipped away to foreign shores unnoticed? Or did the Indians come for him?
    Liberty are rumoured by some to be out of their depth in F1 and looking to offload some of the burden. Grasping for a coherent unified team entity with which to negotiate, where there is none. (A latent present from Bernie) the teams are not following
    At least Alfa have the decency to keep the chassis (not that there is one) name intact.

    1. No sooner said than VJ is back in the news!

    1. Yet they are still using the FI logo, even in the latest F1 YouTube video on the release dates out today has the FI logo in it!

  17. I agree with changing the name (never really liked Force India to be honest) but reviving an old team without having any connection makes no sense. However, I believe the marketing guys could have come up with a better name than Racing Point (a quick look at some names of the Prediction Championship could have helped). :)

    1. @barkun: True.

      However, if their new car isn’t quick out of the gate they could be Racing Pointless for several rounds.

      Badaboom!

  18. They should have bought the Sauber name :))

  19. Name change and new team color please.

  20. Geoff Brabham was interviewed elsewhere about numerous attempt to buy the Brabham name for race teams. He said he was approached by an F1 team for the 2019 season. He apparently is planning to use the Brabham name for a racing project of his own beginning in 2022.

  21. Sorry, Racing Point is a really forgettable name, and quite a silly one.

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