Über Desi

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Spyker to be renamed Force India

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Vijay Mallaya confirmed that they had applied to the FIA for a name change. The Spyker F1 team will be called Force India for 2008.

Talking about the name change Mallya said

I believe that there will be a huge surge of support for this team once we present it as the Force India team.

Having an Indian-owned Formula One team on the grid was something that was considered completely out of reach before…this reflects the new India and new ecomomic prosperity.

Mallya to name Spyker – ‘Pride of India’?

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Rumors in the pit lane suggest that the Spyker team could be named ‘Pride of India’ for 2008. It sounds like a yacht than a F1 team in my opinion. Mallya is also rumored to be evaluating the use of Epic Aircraft, one of his recent purchases in an engineering and sponsorship capacity.

“It’s not a sympathy contest” says Vijay Mallya.

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Mallya with his new purchase

Dr. Mallya with his new purchase.
Image from Spyker F1.

With the sale of the Spyker team officially completed, Dr. Vijay Mallya along with Michiel Mol the new team owners were on hand at the Chinese GP. Speaking to Formula1.com, Dr. Mallya answered the most important question, the choice of drivers for 2008 and the rumors about Ralf Schumacher and Narain Karthikeyan.

I know Ralf well from my role as a sponsor of the Toyota team and I personally hold him in high regard. But a driver line-up is not something that should be decided by the heart but by the brain. I want drivers that can raise the standards in the team. I always get asked if we will have an Indian driver and my response is – if I can find one who is ready, yes. But only under the parameters just said. Drivers are a crucial part of the team so the driver line-up is a serious matter and not a sympathy contest.

Would I see an Indian team with an Indian driver or would I see a successful Indian team? I would pick the latter. Besides, as a money making machine, teams with drivers from the same country are not as attractive, well unless you happen to be McLaren with a driver capable of winning the championship.

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