The Force India Formula One team has been renamed Racing Point Force India under its new ownership 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 from the championship and sacrificed all its points. However, the new deal ensures Racing Point Force India -- which is a new entity but 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.
The team's drivers, Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, will retain their points in the championship and continue to race for the team as of this weekend's race.
A consortium of investors led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll rescued the team from administration earlier this month during F1's summer break. Racing Point UK Limited, headed up by Stroll, bought Force India's assets with the aim of safeguarding the team's future, but did not purchase the racing entry to the championship which was tied up in legal complications between the team's former owners and banks in India.
As a result, the existing Sahara Force India entry was unable to comply with Article 8.2 of the FIA's sporting regulations -- which requires it to participate in every round of the calendar -- and was excluded from the championship. That then paved the way for Racing Point Force India to have its entry accepted by the governing body and start afresh in Belgium on zero points but with the same basic team, cars and drivers.
The old Force India entry had been sixth in the standings on 59 points after finishing the last two seasons in fourth place, but Stroll is confident its on-track competitiveness will grow under the new entry.
"On Monday I stood in front of the workforce at Silverstone and Brackley and applauded the achievements of this team in recent years," Stroll said. "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."
The resolution of the complicated situation ensures ten teams will continue to compete in this year's championship, something FIA president Jean Todt applauded.
"I am very pleased that a strong, positive outcome has been reached and welcome the mid-season entry of Racing Point Force India," Todt 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."
Formula One CEO Chase Carey added: "We are very pleased that the situation around Racing Point Force India has been resolved and that the team will continue to race in Formula 1. 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."
A Racing Point announcement also named former Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer as the team's new team principal and CEO, while confirming former deputy team principal Bob Fernley had stood down. Szafnauer thanked the FIA and F1 for helping the team to continue to compete in the championship.
"The new Racing Point Force India Team is delighted to be able to race when the championship resumes in Belgium this weekend. 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.
"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."
The team will continue to race in a pink, white and blue livery, reflecting the colours of its main sponsor BWT.