Racing Point F1 confirms 2019 name change

Lance Stroll (CDN) Racing Point Force India F1 VJM11.
ยฉ XPB 

Racing Point F1 has confirmed the name it will be racing under in the forthcoming 2019 Formula 1 world championship.

And that name is: Racing Point F1!

However, that's not quite as much of an anti-climactic foregone conclusion as it might seem on the surface, as the team had reportedly been hoping to acquire the rights to an altogether very different name.

The Racing Point name first made an appearance last year after the Force India team was bought out of administration. The consortium led by Canadian billionaire businessman Lawrence Stroll was called Racing Point UK.

In order to distinguish the new team from its predecessor, the rescued squad took the extended name Racing Point Force India for the remainder of 2018. However in practice it largely stuck to the Force India name in order to make things less confusing for fans until the end of the season.

Although the team was listed as Racing Point in the FIA's provisional entry list for 2019, team principal Otmar Szafnauer suggested that this would probably not be the actual name it would use.

It's understood that team management had been looking for a naming rights deal with an established marque such as Lola. The British engineering company made intermittent starts in F1 between 1962 and 1993 and contemplated a return to F1 in 2009 before going out of business in 2012.

However the hopes of picking up the rights to the Lola name in F1 ultimately failed to come to fruition, leaving the team sticking to its 'interim' name of Racing Point F1 after all.

According to reports from RaceFans.net, the F1 Commission approved the change of team and chassis name to Racing Point F1 in an online digital vote held last week.

The team has now changed its Twitter handle to @RacingPointF1, and moved the official team website to a new domain as www.racingpoint.com, although the home page still bears the old Force India name and logo for the time being.

However there's been no official press release about the name change, with the team apparently preferring to keep things low key until the official launch of this year's car in Toronto on February 13.

Recently the team has been famous for its pink livery courtesy of sponsor BWT, but this too might change in 2019 with online sports betting company SportPesa coming on board in a two-year title sponsorship deal estimated at $18 million.

The F1 Commission also formally approved the change of Sauber's name to Alfa Romeo, ending a 25-year run in F1 for the Peter Sauber's eponymous squad which began with the 1993 South African Grand Prix.

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