New names are far from a rarity in Formula 1. Just this year, Toro Rosso and McLaren traded engine suppliers and the Honda suffix, and Sauber adopted Alfa Romeo as part of its own name. Force India has undergone no significant name changes since the tumultuous period between 2005 and 2008, when it operated under four names in four consecutive years. A decade on from the beginning of its stint as Force India, it looks like the time has come to rebrand, according to a report by Auto Motor und Sport.
The team's chief operations officer, Otmar Szafnauer, has confirmed an interest in the change, with AMuS describing international appeal as a primary motivator for the name change. Force India's "home" market of India (despite being based in the U.K.) partially lost interest in the sport after the country's own Grand Prix was dropped from the calendar before 2014, though other factors were at play as well.
Force F1 Team appears to be the new name chosen by the team, according to a filing with the British government's Companies House. The documented name change, filed in November, is attached to Robert Fernley, Force India's deputy team principal, with a company address congruent to that of the extant team. Were there ever a smoking gun, this would be it.
Tobi Grüner of AMuS claims the new name will be formally adopted on Feb. 25, when the car, tentatively known as the VJM11, is unveiled to the public, a day prior to the inaugural shakedown of 2018's cars at winter testing in Barcelona.