Documents show new limited companies were registered in the UK under the names Force One Grand Prix, Force One Racing, Force One Team, Force One Technologies, Force One Hospitality and Force One Brand. For now, the only director listed is Dr Thiruvannamalai Laskshmi Kanthan, who is an accountant and financial consultant by profession and is a long-time associate of Dr Vijay Mallya. Kanthan is also a director of Force India and three other companies associated with the brand.
A more generic name will help open up options for sponsorship, which the currently has found cumbersome in India.
Force India chief operating officer, Otmar Szafnauer, admitted that apart from Mallya's own Kingfisher brand, "a couple, but not many" Indian sponsors have tied up with the team, but the loss of the Indian Grand Prix after 2013 led to interest being stalled. Rebranding might potentially make it easier to sell a shareholding in the team. Szafnauer said it was important to get the name right for the long term. "You don't change your name every other year, so we've got to think about it deeply and philosophically, and make sure if we do it, it's going to be there for a long time," he said.
The company that currently is using the Force India Formula 1 Team name holds all commercial rights and would have to change its branding to Force One. An application for a chassis name change also has to be made to the FIA, and has to be approved by the F1 Commission.
"We've been Force India for 10 years now. If we do change, it should last another 10 years or 20 years so people get to know what it is. If we choose a name that's closely linked to Force India but not Force India that might even be an easier step forward."