Force India, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Force India to race in Spa after name change to Racing Point Force India – but loses all its points

2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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The Force India Formula 1 team will compete in this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix under the new name Racing Point Force India.

However the change of names means the team has forfeited all of the points it has scored so far this year. Force India was sixth in the championship on 59 points.

“Following a disciplinary investigation and prosecution by the FIA under Article 4 of the FIA’s Judicial and Disciplinary Rules, the Sahara Force India F1 Team has accepted its exclusion from the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship with immediate effect, due to its incapacity to comply with Article 8.2 of the Sporting Regulations moving forward, and forfeits all Constructors Championship points under Article 6.2,” said the FIA in a statement.

This means Force India is removed from the championship standings and the teams which were behind it have moved up. Racing Point Force India is last in the standings on zero points. Drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon keep the points they have scored.

The change of names has come about following the sale of the team’s assets to a consortium headed by Lawrence Stroll. The buyers had been unable to purchase the team’s entry due to complications relating to former owner Vijay Mallya’s legal situation. This had put the team’s participation in this weekend’s race in doubt.

Former chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer has been confirmed as the new team principal and chief executive officer.

“The new Racing Point Force India Team is delighted to be able to race when the championship resumes in Belgium this weekend,” he said.

“This heralds a new and exciting chapter for us. Just a few weeks ago, an uncertain future lay ahead, with more than 400 jobs at risk. Now the new team has the backing of a consortium of investors, led by Lawrence Stroll, who believe in us as a team, in our expertise and in our potential to achieve success on the track.

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“We are grateful to the FIA, the Joint Administrators and Formula One Management for their support in helping us achieve such a welcome outcome and ultimately, we trust, for the sport and its many fans.”

Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey said he was “very pleased” by the news of the team’s rescue.

“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.”

FIA president Jean Todt also welcomed the news. “I am very pleased that a strong, positive outcome has been reached and welcome the mid-season entry of Racing Point Force India,” he said.

“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.”

The team’s cars have already passed scrutineering, for which they were entered under the name Sahara Force India F1 Team. However that branding has been removed from the team’s motorhome, trucks and pit wall gantry.

The FIA has issued the entry list for this weekend’s race with Perez and Ocon listed as the drivers for Racing Point Force India F1 Team.

Speaking to media including RaceFans at the circuit earlier today, Perez said it would be “business as usual” for the team this weekend.

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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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82 comments on “Force India to race in Spa after name change to Racing Point Force India – but loses all its points”

  1. Why haven’t they removed force India from their name? Will it stay or be removed at the end of the season?

    1. See racing rights (and probably money). The team name must include ‘Force India’. Can be changed next year.

    2. Duncan Snowden
      24th August 2018, 16:27

      It’s the chassis. The team name must include the name of the chassis, and that can’t be changed for an existing one. It’s hard enough to change it between seasons (hence the “BMW-Sauber-Ferrari” of old), but the way this takeover has occurred probably means that won’t be a problem.

      To clarify: Force India Formula 1 Team Ltd. (formerly Jordan Grand Prix Ltd.), an F1 entrant since 1991, has withdrawn from the championship. Racing Point UK Ltd., an entirely different entity, has submitted a new entry that just happens (albeit highly intentionally) to use the Force India VJM11, employ most of the same people, and have most of the same sponsors. The car is, quite literally, a Racing Point Force India. Next year’s won’t be.

  2. really?? Force Point what??

    I know its not the most pressing issue but a bit more effort in finding a more suitable name would nt have hurt in my opinion.
    anyways… glad they are making it to the grid :)

    1. 0/10 for the name, but we don’t know what their legal position was on the matter, I’m sure there’s a reason for this. Very glad they will race

    2. @barkun it’s very simple. If they remove the name Force India mid-season, they won’t be liable for their TV money (because that is what is on the entry) – remember when Sauber switched from BMW to Ferrari but held onto the BMW name for a year?

      Sahara was the ‘title sponsor’, so that’s just been ditched now, replaced with another fake one to give the impression they actually have one.

      I’m guessing from next year they’ll run with proper BWT title sponsorship?

      What’s more significant is they’ve dropped Bob Fernley! He always seemed like a good egg.

      1. I’m pretty sure the TV money was tied to the constructor’s championship and therefore the entry. Since this is a new entry and therefore effectively a new constructor, it seems to me they’re not entitled to Force India’s TV money. So keeping the name makes no sense to me.

        1. But it’s not a new entry. Another company purchased the team as a going entity whilst it was in administration.

          If the administrators folded the team after not finding a buyer and the new corporate just bought all the bits, *that* would be a new entry and it would forfeit the TV money.

          1. Ok, scratch this reply – the article has been updated with more information stating that Stroll couldn’t just take up the entry. I guess Vijay really wanted to burn everything down if he didn’t get his 400 million…

          2. Not Vijay’s doing. The people he owes lots of money to stopped that bit.

          3. I read that they weren’t a going concern, something to do with VJs bank problems, and that was a sticking point in the sale.

    3. Racing Point is almost as silly as Champ Car.

  3. Great news! But I am with @barkun, what’s going on with the name they have chosen?

  4. Force Point as there not racing for prize money!

    Why’s Fernley being forced out. A spot for Moneybags Stroll to sit in

    1. Fernly is very close with Vijay so like him or not he had to step down. He was about to retire anyway. He’s fine.

  5. I long for the days of aggressive sounding team names like ‘Eagle’ and ‘Shadow’ and ‘Arrows’.

    Still, the important thing is that the team live to fight on. I’m very happy for everyone connected with that organisation who will remain.

    1. You forgot “Wolf Racing”… which wore the Canadian flag! ;)

      1. And raced a Williams car… still a sore point for us loyal Williams fans. :)

    2. @willwood shadow was the best name ever and their logo even better.

      1. Sounds like the movie “Turbo” with the racing snail “White Shadow”. They can’t work out why shadows are fast…hilarious :)

        1. Turbo would be a fine name

    3. georgeboole (@)
      23rd August 2018, 20:13

      Forget the shadow. Theres already a team using it.

  6. How did this come about? Were concessions made? Did Stroll come up with the entry fee for a new racing team?

    1. It’s not a new team – it’s still Force India so they’re racing on the same entry as before.

      1. @optimaximal that’s the point. If they are racing as Force India my understanding is there were questions about whether it had to be agreed upon by all teams. Also, as the assets were sold I’m assuming it’s the Concord agreement that states that they would have to race as a new entity/entry.

      2. it’s still Force India so they’re racing on the same entry as before

        They are very much not, as discussed by the article at the top of this page you clearly mustn’t have read.

        1. The article has been updated since I posted.

  7. I believe “Racing Point” was the name Lawrence financed for Lance in Canadian carting … still researching that for true … going by my memory for this post.

    1. That can make sense, because it would be faster to use a name that he already have ownership. It’s so ugly and weak that I can’t believe they picked it by taste or how it sounds.

  8. Found this on ESPN

    The Force India Formula One team has been renamed Racing Point Force India and had a new mid-season entry to this year’s championship accepted by the FIA.

    The news means the Force India team that competed up until the Hungarian Grand Prix in July has been excluded and has sacrificed all its championship points. However, the new deal ensures Racing Point Force India — which is effectively the same team in all but its championship entry — will race for the remainder of the season, starting on zero points at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

    A consortium of investors led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll rescued the Force India F1 from administration over the summer break.

  9. Do they now get a full allocation of PU’s, MGU-K & Gearboxes etc?

    1. We need answers! And what was the point of the drivers keep their points? Do they get extra prize money for where they place?

    2. Great question. They’ve definitely had some fun with codemasters… fancy changing your name the day before the game gets released!

    3. Andrew in Atlanta
      24th August 2018, 0:21

      Nope, the allocations are attached to the drivers (if a replacement driver is used they start with wherever the previous driver left off)

  10. I read it as racing lines……..

    1. maybe that one was taken :P

  11. I get the feeling after all this mess and so what happened with Manor that the FIA or FOM should be the ones deciding if a team is a brand new organisation or just a continuation with only a name change. Why should all the other teams have to agree? It’s for the benefit of the sport, and teams only look at themselves.

    1. Yep, agree that needs to be sorted sooner rather than later. I am pretty sure Carey, Bratches and Brawn will have been frustrated enough by this late minute spat, and know it needs fixing.

  12. Racing Point would achieve 44 points over the remainder of the season, if they get points on the same average as Force India did for the first 12 races. It would mean a close fight with Toro Rosso whose average would put them to 49. Considering FI was 6th in standings, McLaren is certainly going by due to this, but at best they would lose just one position. I think the team is strong enough to overtake Williams and Sauber.

    1. I think the team is strong enough to overtake Williams and Sauber.

      The funniest part is that they will most likely overtake Williams (with a certain Stroll JR behind the wheel) this weekend.
      @bleu
      Better stay far away from the Stroll family home come Monday ;)

      1. No Way … I’m looking for a job as driver too … I can come in last everywhere!

    2. Yes, they might be able to beat toro rosso, however they could’ve beaten even renault and haas were it not for this.

      Also, why can’t force india just keep their points and start counting from 0 with racing point force india? Chances are they’ll have scored more in the first part of the season than 2nd.

  13. Does this also mean Racing Point Force India has no claim to Sahara Force India F1 Team’s prize money @dieterrencken?

    1. Same question here, @geemac.
      But keeping ‘Force India’ in the name must be something to do with that answer.

      1. The way I read it @geemac & @coldfly, they won’t get the points, or the (right to the) money. But, they already gather points from this race, so rather than having to wait another season, they’ll be eligible for money after their first full season, their 2nd season in the sport, which minimises the loss.

        Joe Saward had an enlightening article about it, which explained that this way, the 200 million or so that VJ claimed his company is still owed by Force India LTD also is gone (with the India related liabilities, one assumes), so in the end, it more or less evens out and allows the racing team to go ahead and concentrate on racing, which seems to be a defensible choice.

      2. Keeping Force India in keeps their TV money rights. Other championship prize money is gone.

  14. Oh come on. We all know which team it is and how many points they have.

    I bet they will still get 6th even starting over, so it won’t matter– basically just have to beat McLaren and that team is going to be a dog in the second half. More of a dog*

  15. I hope they get on the podium in both Spa and Monza…

  16. There must be some sweetener, I find it hard to believe that Stroll et al would give up the prize money so easily.

    1. Will make sense if he isn’t taking on any debts and is getting the assets at a give away price and paying the administrators a tidy sum only.

  17. The main issue is not the name but the prize money. The team would need it, but I dunno if others would want them to get it

  18. Anyone has an idea about articles 8.1 and 8.2 that the FIA are quoting? Do they deal with championship money too?

  19. More than 400 – 1 jobs at risk, as Fernley already lost his job

    1. There were 405 at the start of this, so technically 5 positions could be lost and the “400 jobs saved” still be true.

  20. Peppermint-Lemon (@)
    23rd August 2018, 19:18

    What an awful new name.

    Racing pointless might have been more fitting.

    Caribou Racing would be good

  21. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    23rd August 2018, 19:29

    IMO, the sport should allow a team name change mid-season without forfeiting points especially if the team was forced into administration.

    Maybe a 20% point reduction or some slap on the hand to appease the other teams but giving up all the points after 12 races is ridiculous for a team.

    Personally, I think this was a moment where Liberty needed to step up and make sure that teams are allowed to survive without undue hardship.

  22. No Points Racing.

    Glad they can race in Belgium, but they really need a better name, I mean, its just too easy.

  23. Racing (without a) Point.

    Though I suspect they’ll be back ahead of Williams by Sunday evening.

    1. Hi Keith. Who you find out van you share the details of how this affects the engine situation? Three new engines for the rest of the year sounds preetty good!

    2. The most significant question (not addressed in article) is whether or not they are eligible for the accrued F1 payments of the prior team, i.e. company.
      Of course, even if they aren’t Lawrence Stroll can just writ another check.

    3. Strolling Around Formerly Known As Force India

  24. They should’ve gone with Racing Pointless, surely.

  25. I may be mistaken but this seems to be a first one. When the team was Midland and Spyker…didn’t those ownerships change hands during the season as well? But I do not remember any team to have their constructor points forfeited like this.

    1. It’s not about the name, it is about the entry. The Stroll consortium bought the assets of the team, not the teams entry I to the F1 world championship. FI couldn’t sell it as the Indian debtors wouldn’t allow it. So they have to start with a new entry hence new name.

      I would also suggest the they kept the Force India bit so as not to inconvenience their sponsors who probably have literature etc. with Force India splashed all over it.

    2. @gpfacts, in the case of Spyker taking over Midland F1, whilst Spyker did take over the team shortly before the end of the season, Spyker bought the team as a going concern.

      The legal entity which held the entry rights, which was MF1 Racing, remained in operation throughout the sale, so technically the entrant did not change. What Spyder did to get around that was to officially declare themselves to be the new title sponsor of the team for the final three races of the 2006 season, giving them the right to then append their name to the front of the team name.

      There have been other teams who have done a similar move, but in reverse – in 2009, Renault had to drop ING from their name partway through the season after ING cancelled their sponsorship of the team when the ‘Crashgate’ scandal erupted, but were still considered to be the same entrant and retained their prize money at the end of the season.

      Similarly, in 2011 Ferrari also made a change when they removed all mention of Marlboro from their name due to the pressure over the links the team had to the tobacco industry: again, technically the entrant remained the same and therefore Ferrari did not lose their rights to prize money, despite the mid-season amendment to their name.

    3. @gpfacts Midland took over between seasons. Spyker took over at Monza 2006, but kept Midland in the title until the end of that season. Force India took over near the end of 2007 (I think that may also have been Monza) and kept the name exactly the same until the season ended. In all three cases, the holding company transferred with the rest of the team. That part got jammed which is why all this chicanery is going on.

    4. The team didn’t score points during 2006 so in general there was no points to be stripped. However, if the team’s results would have been counted from China onwards only, they would have been behind Super Aguri. Sato was 10th in Brazil which was SA’s best result over the season. Albers was 14th which was the best result for Spyker-Midland in last three races. However, Monteiro’s 9th place in Hungary was deemed to stay and therefore they got 10th place in WCC over Super Aguri after nine teams that had scored points.

  26. Force America’s would have been better.

  27. With nine races to go, I except they will get at least 7th if not 6th in the championship. Real shame this team has had this kind of issues.

  28. Glad that a way forward has been found, even if it is an awful compromise and an even worse name.

    Worst news in my opinion is the loss of Bob Fernley. That’s a massive blow; he’s been a stalwart figure in the team and in my opinion one of the best in the business.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      24th August 2018, 2:37

      I hope Fernley can find another, more stable team

    2. Agreed, the Fernley loss was shocking.

  29. Would they have still retained the points if all of the other teams would have allowed it?

  30. “The buyers had been unable to purchase the team’s entry due to complications relating to former owner Vijay Mallya’s legal situation.”

    I would very much like to know what these ‘complications’ entailed.

    1. Ah, I see @asanator answered my query above:

      “The Stroll consortium bought the assets of the team, not the teams entry I to the F1 world championship. FI couldn’t sell it as the Indian debtors wouldn’t allow it.”

  31. Hopefully the team members can breathe now ang get on with the business of racing.

    These sorts of upheavals scream for the steady hand of Bob Fernley so I think he’ll be a massive loss over the next few weeks.

    I wish the team well and hope they continue to set the standard for teams punching well above their weight.

    1. Released to “subscribers” of FI’s newsletter early this morning AU time: – interesting that they seem to think everything was in place on 18 August.

      Racing Point UK Limited acquires Force India Formula One Team

      Racing Point Force India F1 Team will make its debut at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix following the acquisition of the Force India Formula One Team by Racing Point UK Limited. The new ownership was finalised on Thursday 16th of August with a consortium of investors led by Lawrence Stroll agreeing terms to secure the future of the team.

      The investors are Canadian entrepreneur Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of Monaco Sports and Management, fashion business leader John Idol, telecommunications investor John McCaw Jr, financial expert Michael de Picciotto, businessman Lawrence Stroll and his business partner Silas Chou.

      Racing Point UK Limited has appointed Otmar Szafnauer as Team Principal and CEO with immediate effect. Otmar has been with Force India since 2010 as Chief Operating Officer and has played a pivotal role in the team’s progress up the grid.

      The team’s Deputy Team Principal, Robert Fernley, will stand down from his role. The remainder of the senior management team remains unchanged.

      For the rest of the 2018 season the cars will compete as Racing Point Force India F1 Team in pink, white and blue.

      Lawrence Stroll: “On Monday I stood in front of the workforce at Silverstone and Brackley and applauded the achievements of this team in recent years. 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 recognise the racers’ spirit in Force India, and we are extremely motivated to make this team even more special in the years ahead.”

      Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal and CEO: “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 recognise the support of the previous shareholders for making Force India what it is today.”

  32. If they start afresh in terms of points, do PU allocations and components used get reset too? I am assuming they do, it did not see it mentioned anywhere.

  33. “Racing Point”… sounds like a Formula 3 team name.

  34. “Lance’s Playground Force India” would have been more accurate and descriptive.

  35. What a garbage name. Obviously this can change for next season but still.

  36. Racing Point Force India = Forcing team (to) Racing Stroll
    I am tired leave me alone.. :D

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