Force India to become Sahara Force India after buy-in

2011 F1 season

Sahara Force India logo

Sahara Force India logo

The Force India team will be renamed Sahara Force India Formula One following a buy-in from the Sahara Group.

Mallya will remain as team principal of the Silverstone-based outfit.

He has sold a 42.5% stake in his team to Subrata Roy’s Sahara Group. Mallya’s United Breweries Group retains 42.5%, with a further 15% held by Michiel Mol.

Force India said the deal will bring around $100m (??63.38m) of investment into the team.

Mallya said: “I am delighted to welcome Saharasri Subrata Roy Sahara as Chairman of Sahara Force India.

“It has indeed been a matter of pride for me to put India on the F1 map with Force India and raise the performance of the team to its current levels. The Sahara Group has played a very important role in the development of sport in the country and is an ideal partner to take the Force India F1 Team to greater success in the Formula 1 world championship.”

Subrata Roy said: “The advent of India in this exciting sport has remained a matter of pride for all our countrymen. I feel doubly proud that Sahara is the co-owner of India?s only F1 team and I am sure that through the Sahara Force India F1 Team, we will together bring pride and laurels to our beloved nation.”

Last week he strongly denied rumours the team was up for sale, saying: “As team principal, I will continue to run the team and I have no plans whatsoever to exit.”

The Sahara Group’s businesses include includes television channels, real estate companies, film distribution, tourism services and a cricket team.

Mallya took over the former Spyker team at the end of 2007, re-branding it Force India. The team rose to seventh in the constructors’ championship last year and currently hold sixth place.

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120 comments on Force India to become Sahara Force India after buy-in

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  1. PJ (@pjtierney) said on 12th October 2011, 17:09

    *insert Camel reference here*

    • alexf1man (@alexf1man) said on 13th October 2011, 8:08

      haha and I’m sure Mallya’s drink brand would completely soak the Sahara.

      Also the logo is rubbish for these reasons:

      1) Sahara is in different font and looks out of place

      2) The little Indian flag (right), along with the Sahara text, are just after thoughts

      3)The circular element (which now has people around its edge) looks rubbish with the exception of the people section

      • Dphect (@dphect) said on 13th October 2011, 9:34

        Sure the logo is quite pants, but I’d like to think they would rebrand/develop it for next season.

        Just as long as they don’t use the company who did the London 2012 Olympic logo!

      • S@Nguine said on 13th October 2011, 11:48

        The little Indian flag along with the Sahara text and circular element with people around its edge is a part of Sahara India’s company logo.

  2. It would be interesting to see how this buy out will impact their drivers for 2012. As per reports sahara is interested in seeing an indian driver in team where as mallya steadfastly gone for better drivers rather than nationality. With both mallya & sahara with equal shares, probably one driver with mallya preference & one with sahara preference? Things doesn’t look good for Nico Hulkenburg…

  3. Andy G said on 12th October 2011, 17:14

    That is probably one of the worst logos of any professional company I’ve ever seen.

  4. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 12th October 2011, 17:16

    It all seems very rushed. The mock logo uses the 2008 Force India logo as a base, which was before they were forced to change the ‘I’ to an ‘i’ to avoid confusion between the FI logo and F1.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 12th October 2011, 17:23

      @ed24f1 Well spotted! That’s very interesting…

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 12th October 2011, 17:42

      @ed24f1 looking at Sahara’s logo, it’s clear the proportions have been distorted here. The combination of part of the Sahara logo on part of Force India’s logo makes it hard to appreciate. It could have turned out much better.
      This, for example, which is the same logo, just done with some logic. It took me five minutes to do it, and I guess Sahara Group knew it before us and had all the time to develop a proper logo.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th October 2011, 20:03

        @fixy that one already looks better proportioned. But the real problems are the use of completely different fonts, and to make matters worse the Force india is in italics and the SAHARA in straight.
        It makes the indian flag stripes go the other way from the F, making it look bad even in your version.

        I think they should put SAHARA in Italics as well, so the Flag at the end of it can stay/merge with that F wich is the most recognizable part of the FI logo.
        The changed detail of the Chakra is the only thing thats fine with the design, but even here it being black/coloured makes it far more prominent, especially in combination with the lettering changed to gray.

        • Fixy (@fixy) said on 12th October 2011, 20:29

          I admit I myself don’t like my version. It was just to show how to properly paste a logo on another ;)
          Like you said @bascb, the logo will need deeper revisions to look proper, the two fonts should be the same or at least have the same formatting. Also, I thought that, as on the right of the Sahara logo there are two stripes making the Indian flag, that the Sahara text could be overlapped in some way with the F, but I couldn’t figure out a way to do so in those 5 minutes.
          It looks strange to have an Indian-coloured F and an “extension” of it on the opposite side of the logo.
          The logo they showed is just two completely different logos merged. They need to be changed.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th October 2011, 20:46

            @fixy maybe if the Indian Flag at the end of SAHARA would look more like the tip of that FI flag it would already make it more harmonious.

            Or doing what you say, put the SAHARA in the flag so the tip of the flag becomes those two stripes.

          • Fixy (@fixy) said on 12th October 2011, 21:16

            @bascb the problem with what I said is that the logo would be enormous against the F, and reducing it would also make the Indian flag on the Sahara logo too small. I couldn’t try it because I can’t find a hi-res picture of FI’s logo, and your idea is good but I would personally take it away completely as it’s very small and the flag already exists in the F.
            There is certainly a lot of work to do and a wide margin of improvent for the designers, I hope they change it!

          • I agree, your version seems better balanced, but the mix of fonts in that logo just hurts my eyeballs!

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th October 2011, 21:41

            @fixy yes, it really needs a bit of work to get things right, but there is so much they can do to improve it I can only hope they do so soon.
            At least before plastering this all over the team kit!

        • vjanik said on 13th October 2011, 10:14

          why should the font be the same? many logos use different fonts (like Red Bull racing for example) Maybe it is supposed to distinguish Sahara as a separate company joining the team. The logo looks terrible but its not because they are using different fonts. There are plenty of good logos with different fonts.

      • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 12th October 2011, 23:18

        Force India’s logo itself isn’t very good, before Sahara gets involved. I mean the red doesn’t need to be there, and they could really simplify the symbol on the Indian flag a lot more.

        I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt however and hope the 2 of them figure out something decent between them.

    • Daniel2030 said on 12th October 2011, 23:58

      they shouldnt mass them together whatsoever. They should redo a logo from scratch using both names as the base instead of jamming one into the other.

  5. That’s how to report, unlike a certain Mr. Saward.. Thank you Keith.
    Good news for the team though, a lot more money and more development.

    • Huron (@huron) said on 12th October 2011, 17:22

      Joe had good reasons to be annoyed. Some of us don’t enjoy dealing with liars.

      • And we’re still talking about F1 business, right? And he didn’t really lie. It was a partnership deal and Mallya did not sell the team. Most of came from the Mol side. He still own a controlling stake and still is the MD.

        So, I don’t know how exactly he lied about not selling the team?

        • Well, typing fail ^^

          **Most of *it came from the Mol side.
          **He still *owns ..

        • Huron (@huron) said on 12th October 2011, 17:47

          Look, having done business in India, I know that the Indian definition of lying is different from the Western definition. Fuzzy logic makes it easy to “lie” or at least be absurdly less than honest.

          All Mallya had to say was “no comment” and it would be fine. Instead, he decided to rant about how the reports were ridiculous and that he had no intention of selling the team. That is lying.

          • vickyy (@vickyy) said on 12th October 2011, 18:02

            Appreciated! But do we understand “no comment”?
            And how exactly he lied? He sold just 8% from previous value, its Mol family who have actually nearly exited

          • Dev (@dev) said on 12th October 2011, 18:05

            Even if Mallya never wanted to sell his stake in the team, he was persuaded to change his mind in this case… this group can buy whatever they like. This group has the blessing of people who matter to do whatever it likes… so i’m not surprised by this flip.

            besides the reports which Mallya denied was about him selling all his stake to Sahara to fund his business… which were very ridiculous… the local news reports about him shutting his airline company were also ridiculous… the local news here is horrible their version of news is far from what the actual facts. i’m sure Mallya was talking about local news reports when he said those things.

          • On contrary said on 12th October 2011, 18:29

            Look, having done business in India, I know that the Indian definition of lying is different from the Western definition. Fuzzy logic makes it easy to “lie” or at least be absurdly less than honest.

            By that logic entire F1 operation seems to have originated in India.

            All that we ever hear from drivers, team owners, CVC/Bernie/FOM, FOTA and FIA
            is fuzzy logic.
            Never the Yes/No/ No comment :)

            Every news in F1 starts as a rumor, brews with series of vehement denials from associated parties, and next thing you know the rumor becomes truth.

          • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 13th October 2011, 1:28

            I can tell you that nothing is sold until the cheque has cleared. And you certainly don’t want to potentially kill a deal with a premature announcement. Lie, not lie, doesn’t matter, the team lives and that’s a good thing.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th October 2011, 20:15

          @rits I fully understand that Mallya might have been in trouble for the news getting out before it was a finished deal.
          But he could easily have just not commented, or worded his reaction differently to be less of an affront to the reality now coming out.

          He could have just said he heard rumours about him getting out, saying he was not doing that. Indeed he could have talked about the team becoming even more Indian with getting more partners to the team in the future to help build on what they have already achieved!
          Instead of slacking off the news in denial, it might have gotten a positive spin.

          • @BasCB What you said is exactly what I mean. We don’t know what situation he was in when he had to make that comment. And I still maintain my stand – he did not lie in my opinion.

            The rumours were making it sound like he’s selling off the team and bailing out, which wasn’t true.
            He said that it was baseless and that he had no plans of selling off or leaving. And this deal is a partnership which came about from the Mol family giving up most of their share. Mallya just let off 7.5% of his share and is still at the helm of the team. That’s not the same as “selling off the team” ..

            That’s how I see it.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th October 2011, 20:56

            I thought about Mol wanting to cash in as he can well use the money right now immediately when the rumours came out.

            Seems the deal was for Mallya and Sahara to be equal partners in the business for now, although it remains to be seen what te future brings. It does mean FI going more Indian wich can only be good for F1 in India.

          • electrolite (@electrolite) said on 12th October 2011, 23:01

            Agree withs Rits and BasCB. Whether he lies or not depends on how you define ‘selling out’.

          • And isn’t it normal for any business in the midst of a undecided deal to deny stuff? He’s a businessman talking about his business, not some holy-man talking about religion!
            Mr. JS over on the other side has gone completely bonkers and sounds like Mallya personally caused him a huge amount of loss!!

            You’d think a F1 journo who’s been around for decades would know how business deals and F1 work and what people normally say when asked about a private ongoing deal process..

    • PJ (@pjtierney) said on 12th October 2011, 18:35

      @charlie_whiting
      Fake Charlie Whiting
      Apparently when Vijay denied Force India was for sale it was because he’d already sold it.

  6. Dev (@dev) said on 12th October 2011, 17:16

    this group is very dubious, but they have tons of money… they sponsor the national cricket team of India. I’m sure the fresh money in the team will make them take bigger steps & be a serious threat to top teams in the next season.

    • Why is this group dubious? It is one of the largest and most well known business houses of India. They’ve always invested in sport and this is a very welcome move!

      • Dev (@dev) said on 12th October 2011, 17:24

        recently regulators found them guilty of some serious wrong doings in some financial products they company had to offer. besides their source of investors i.e funding of their business is a huge smokescreen.

        i’m sure they made Mallya an offer he could not refuse.

        • That kind stuff is attached to any big-money business anywhere in the world.. It’s not really a concern. Their source of investors is not something everyone ought to know. They are a long-established business house with a long running history of sport sponsorship.

          Let’s see this from the positive angle.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th October 2011, 20:17

            @rits Agree on what you say about dodgy financial products being in any big-money business. But I think it is indeed a big concert, because of how widespread it is (sry to get a bit off topic here) ;-)

          • @BasCB True. That’s something we can’t help! F1 itself has a LOT of dodgy money attached and bundles of controversial associations (Bahrain, China etc.).. So, to talk about that kind of stuff here is a bit “taking it out of context” ..

          • Thecollaroyboys (@thecollaroyboys) said on 13th October 2011, 1:31

            Dubious??? Let’s have a look at the big banks in Europe and the UK – they destroyed the world financial system with dodgy products and dealings. Anything Sahara has done would be a flea bite in comparison.

    • On contrary said on 12th October 2011, 21:06

      this group is very dubious, but they have tons of money…

      Most of the backers coming in F1 in recent times have been dubious and there is hardly any transparency on the source of funds for that matter, the backers around Black-Lotus, Middle east entities backing STR and other teams on grid. Than there are the group of investors that were to invest in the “Sauber Club” or something that Monisha mentioned (that too after Carlos Slim announcement)

  7. Here we go again. This team seems not have stability. A shame.

  8. Yeah, not the most elegant logo I’ve ever seen, but I’ll bet some people here on F1 Fanatic could help them out with that…

  9. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 12th October 2011, 17:28

    logo is certainly horrible! But cash influx is very good for the team :)

  10. GameR_K (@gamer_k) said on 12th October 2011, 17:39

    *bangs head* *claps hands*
    – Mixed emotions -

  11. Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 12th October 2011, 17:41

    they should ask 99designs.com to make one for them! :P

  12. vickyy (@vickyy) said on 12th October 2011, 17:47

    What a difference in reporting, checkout other blog.
    I don’t want to make it obvious by stating the name.
    I haven’t seen such condescending remarks from a responsible pen.
    Keith, how do you perceive this change in ownership? Is it the kind of same buy that STR went through?

  13. Tommo N7 (@tommothfc) said on 12th October 2011, 18:01

    Well, Sahara just seem to have typed their name, then pasted it into the Force India logo. Looks terrible, and hope they get a better, proper one done for next season. I also wonder if the livery will be majorly different.

    Moving on from the appearance view, I’m slightly peeved with Mallya, since he denied all reports a week ago, just to go and sell a stake in it. What effect will this have on the team though? Will Sahara want a Indian driver? If so, good news for Chandhok, and bad news for Hulkenberg. But hopefully the cash influx will help push Force India even higher. I don’t know how much this will change the 2012 car, but this will surely help them in the future. I’m just glad FI hasn’t changed hands completely, Jordan, Midland, Spyker, Force India; way too may name changes in my opinion.

  14. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 12th October 2011, 18:04

    If it’s true what I read on the first comment here, Karun may have a good chance to run FI next year. If he does have the seat, I hope he don’t screw it up. Senna proved, for example, that a nice ride makes him an average pilot.

  15. AshBear5000 said on 12th October 2011, 18:07

    Please can I point out that its the Mol Family, which owned 50% alongside Mallya, that sold its majority stake and not Mallya. Mallya only gave up 7.5 %.

    • UKFan (@) said on 12th October 2011, 18:40

      That makes more sense thanks for the info I was starting to fear that Force India one of the only realtively new teams to suceed was faiding away.

    • If only people would get their heads out of wherever they have ‘em stuffed, they would easily see (read) what you just mentioned. Instead, they just jump on their high horse and make all kinds of ridiculous statements (including some veteran scribes)..

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