FIA approves Spyker name change to Force India

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PARIS, Oct 24 (Reuters) Spyker's request to change its name to the Force India Formula One team next season has been accepted by the International Automobile Federation (FIA), the sport's governing body said today.

The team's new owner, Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya, who bought the team this month with Dutch businessman Michiel Mol, had a request for permission to rename the team granted at a meeting of the FIA's World Motor Sport Council in Paris.

The name change will be the third for the team since 2005, when Silverstone-based Jordan was sold to Midland.

Midland became Spyker last year after being taken over by the ailing Dutch luxury sportscar maker.

Mallya said he expected the management of the team, who have scored just one point this season, to stay the same and he was determined to keep highly rated German rookie driver Adrian Sutil as well.

An Indian driver was an option but not an immediate priority, he added.

The team logo will be in the colours of the Indian flag.

The tycoon, whose business interests include Kingfisher airlines and the world's third largest spirits maker in United Breweries Ltd, said he had already had plenty of interest from would-be Indian sponsors.

India is due to host a grand prix for the first time in New Delhi from 2010.

REUTERS BJR RK2033

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