Sahara Force India F1 Team reveal changes made for car number rule

Esteban Ocon takes the VJM10 home in fifth at the Spanish Grand Prix. Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team.

Sahara Force India F1 Team have revealed the changes made to its car number scheme, after receiving a €25,000 suspended fine at the Spanish Grand Prix.

After the race, the Silverstone-based outfit were called by the stewards, as they felt they failed to put its numbers in a place that complied with the new FIA requirements for greater visibility.

Numbers now need to be visible from the front of the car and either numbers or a driver’s three letter abbreviation (TLA) be placed on the side of the car.

With the team agreeing to make the changes, they revealed the new location of the numbers on the nose as well as a TLA being added to the shark fin, during a filming day at Silverstone on Thursday.

Speaking in Spain, Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer said for the team to compete, they have to maximise their income from sponsorship, meaning more space for the numbers would compromise their sponsorship opportunities.

“Force India is a team that does pretty well on the track but doesn’t do so well financially from the way the income is distributed,” he said.

“So to be able to compete we have to maximise our income from sponsorship. To do that we need space on the car. I think there are personally other ways to distinguish what car you are looking at.

“Pink is pretty distinguishable so you know it is either going to be either Sergio [Perez] or Esteban [Ocon] and there are other ways that you can tell the drivers apart – like their helmets.”