Force India in talks with Aston Martin, Johnnie Walker

Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:27pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Force India are in talks with Aston Martin and Scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker about a deal that would see the Formula One team change its name and look, co-owner Vijay Mallya said on Friday.

"Yes, there are discussions on with Aston Martin. Yes, there is excitement on both sides," he told Reuters at the Mexican Grand Prix.

"But it still has to go through due process before we agree and shake hands on a concept, whatever that concept may be ... we have not exchanged anything in terms of an outline or draft contracts.

"This is a sort of tri-partite discussion that is going on which involves Diageo with its Johnnie Walker brand as well."

Mallya, whose co-owner Subrata Roy of the Sahara Group has been in jail in India for more than a year, said that if the Mercedes-powered team did change name, it would still remain Indian registered.

"I named the team Force India only to give India and all of the motorsport fans in my country pride of place on a Formula One grid," continued the liquor baron, who also has business troubles following the collapse of his Kingfisher airline.

"But they've enjoyed that for eight years and now they know this team is synonymous and will still be an entry from India flying the Indian flag.

"So what name we run under is not as critically important as it was for the first three or four years."   Continued...

Formula One - F1 - United States Grand Prix 2015 - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, United States of America - 23/10/15
Force India team owner Dr. Vijay Mallya during a press conference
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Hoch Zwei