|Full Name||Sahara Force India F1 Team (2012–2013)
Force India Formula One Team (2008–2011)
|Base||Silverstone, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom|
|Noted Staff||Vijay Mallya|
|Noted Drivers||Adrian Sutil|
|Formula One World Championship|
|Debut||2008 Australian Grand Prix|
|Final race||2013 Brazilian Grand Prix|
Sahara Force India Formula One Team, the trading name of Force India Formula One Team Limited, is a Formula One racing team based in Silverstone, United Kingdom which currently holds an Indian licence. The team was formed in October 2007 when a consortium led by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya and Michiel Mol bought the Spyker F1 team for € 90 million. Force India F1 represents increased Indian participation within Formula One, with Greater Noida having hosted the first Indian Grand Prix in 2011. The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile confirmed the change in name from Spyker to Force India on 24 October 2007.
After going through 29 races without scoring points, Force India won their first Formula One world championship points and podium place when Giancarlo Fisichella finished second in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix, Force India scored points again in the following race when Adrian Sutil finished fourth, and set the team's first fastest lap, at the Italian Grand Prix. The team's current drivers are Paul di Resta and Nico Hülkenberg.
In October 2011, Indian company Sahara India Pariwar, purchased 42.5% of Force India F1's shares at $US 100 million.
- Main article: Jordan Grand Prix
The team has its origins in the Jordan Grand Prix team, which entered Formula One racing in 1991 based at the Silverstone racing circuit. Jordan enjoyed many years in Formula One, winning four races and achieving third place in the 1999 constructors title. However, like many of the smaller teams in the 2000s, financial problems meant the team's performance dried up, and team owner Eddie Jordan sold to the Midland Group in 2005.
Midland F1 & SpykerEdit
- Main article: Midland F1 Racing
The renamed Midland F1 Racing team spent two seasons at the back of grid, before owner Alex Shnaider sold the team on to Spyker Cars mid-way through the 2006 season. Spyker F1 scored a point in 2007 and briefly led the European Grand Prix; despite this, the team once again hit financing issues, and was sold on to Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, Chairman of the United Breweries Group and Michiel Mol, Spyker’s Formula One Director.
The team, bought for € 88 million, was renamed as Force India Formula One Team for the 2008 season, and retained team principal Colin Kolles, Chief Technology Officer Mike Gascoyne and driver Adrian Sutil.
Racing History: Formula OneEdit
After retaining Adrian Sutil for the team's first season, Force India conducted winter tests for the second driver and testing roles. Ex-Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella was chosen for the race seat, and Vitantonio Liuzzi secured the reserve role; they were to drive an updated version of the Spyker F8-VIIB chassis with Ferrari engines, christened the Force India VJM01. Testing of the car begun in February, after the gold, tungsten and white liveried car was launched at the Gateway of India in Mumbai. With an increased budget and wind tunnels from defence company EADS, the team set itself the target of beating Super Aguri, a squad which spent the previous seasons contesting at the back with Force India's predecessors.
Melbourne was the scene of Force India's first race, and although the Australian Grand Prix gave the team a poor start with both drivers retiring in the first few laps, the following race in Malaysia saw Fisichella's twelfth place earn the team's first finish. After disappointing results in the opening races, Sutil gave the team the chance to score its first points in the wet Monaco Grand Prix, but towards the end of the race Kimi Räikkönen's Ferrari lost control and hit Sutil's car causing immediate retirement. Although a furious Gascoyne called for Raikkonen to be penalised, overtakes under yellow flag conditions would have meant Sutil receiving a time penalty post-race, dropping him out of points. Continuous updates to improve reliability and performance allowed the team to close the gap to the fastest teams during the mid-season, despite Super Aguri's withdrawal meaning the two cars started from the rear of the grid for the majority of races. A seamless-shift transmission introduced at Valencia marked the end of development for the car; team owner Mallya had realised underinvestment and continued changes of ownership had led the team to fall behind. Force India had been focusing on 2009 since Mallya brought the team, believing that the new regulations would yield better results. Despite halting work on the VJM01, Fisichella put his car to a season-best 12th on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix during a extremely wet qualifying session; he was however to crash out during the race. Fisichella continued his good form by reaching second during the Singapore round and fifth at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix; a safety car before his pit stop prevented points in Singapore, while transmission issues in Brazil left him 18th and two laps down. Force India finished the season tenth place in the Constructors Championship, and Fisichella achieved the best finish of tenth at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Force India retained the same drivers for the 2009 season. At the wet Chinese Grand Prix, Sutil almost secured Force India's first points, holding sixth place in front of Lewis Hamilton and Timo Glock with six laps remaining when aquaplaning led to the Force India car skidding off the road and crashing out of the race. At the German Grand Prix, Sutil qualified in seventh place and battled for the points, reaching second at one point, before colliding with Kimi Räikkönen after exiting the pit lane and being forced to pit again to change a broken front wing. He finished 15th.
Force India gained their first pole position in Formula One when Fisichella qualified fastest at the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa. He finished the race in second position, less than a second behind Kimi Räikkönen earning Force India's first ever points and podium position. Missing the win was partially blamed on the car's lack of KERS, a system present on the Ferrari.
On 3 September 2009, Force India announced that they were releasing Fisichella from his contract to allow him to race for Ferrari for the remainder of the season. It was announced four days later that test driver Vitantonio Liuzzi would replace Fisichella for the remaining races.
In qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Sutil qualified second and Liuzzi, on his race debut for the team, qualified seventh. On race day, Sutil finished fourth and clocked the fastest lap of the race. While running fourth in the race, Liuzzi had to retire due to a transmission failure. Force India finished the season ninth in front of Scuderia Toro Rosso with 13 points, however, this did not reflect the vast improvement Force India had made from the start of the season.
The team announced on 27 November 2009, that it was to keep Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi for the 2010 season. The team tested Paul di Resta and J. R. Hildebrand at Jerez, with di Resta setting a much faster time. Di Resta was confirmed as the team's test driver on 2 February 2010. On 9 February 2010, Force India unveiled their new car, the VJM03, which will be used in the 2010 season.
The 2010 season began with points in Bahrain, with Liuzzi finishing in ninth position. Sutil had qualified in tenth, but was involved in a first-lap incident with the Renault of Robert Kubica. He ultimately recovered to finish in twelfth position. In Australia, Sutil again qualified in the top ten, with Liuzzi qualifying thirteenth. Liuzzi finished the race in seventh, while Sutil retired with an engine problem. In Malaysia Sutil scored ten points with fifth and Liuzzi retired early due to a throttle problem, his first retirement of the season. In the next few races, apart from a retirement from Liuzzi, the Force Indias had quiet races in the midfield, staying mainly out of the action in front of and behind them, with Sutil scoring points in Spain. At Monaco both cars finished the race in eighth and ninth, avoiding the numerous incidents, giving the team their first double points finish. In Turkey, Sutil finished 9th scoring two points, while Liuzzi finished 13th. At the following race in Montreal, both cars finished in the points, with Liuzzi finishing 9th and Sutil in 10th.
A number of senior personnel left the team during the season, with technical director James Key being the highest-profile member, leaving to join Sauber in a similar role. Chief designer Lewis Butler, head of aerodynamics Marianne Hinson, and commercial director Ian Phillips also left the outfit.
On 26 January 2011, the team announced that reserve driver Paul di Resta would be promoted to a race seat for the 2011 season, to partner Adrian Sutil. The team launched their new car, the VJM04 on 8 February 2011 via an online launch. The VJM04 is the first car created under new technical director Andrew Green and developed using the resources from partners McLaren Applied Technologies and Mercedes-Benz HighPerformanceEngines. In the first race of the year in Australia, Sutil and di Resta finished the race in eleventh and twelfth places respectively but were later promoted to ninth and tenth after both Sauber cars were disqualified for a technical infringement relating to the rear wing of both their cars.
Di Resta scored more points in Malaysia but he had to retire in Turkey. Sutil finished seventh in Monaco, and ninth in Valencia. Di Resta was bound for points in Britain before a collision with Buemi, while Sutil finished sixth in Germany ahead of the Mercedes cars. Di Resta finished seventh in Hungary, eighth in Italy and took his best race result of sixth in Singapore, while Sutil added a seventh place finish in Belgium and an eighth in Singapore. Di Resta scored another point in Korea, while at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, Sutil scored two points with ninth place. At the final race in Brazil, Sutil matched his best finish of the season with sixth place, while di Resta finished eighth, to help the team finish sixth in the Constructors' Championship, four points in arrears of fifth-placed Renault.
For their 2012 line-up, the team retained Paul di Resta and replaced Adrian Sutil with their 2011 reserve driver, Nico Hülkenberg. Jules Bianchi was later named as the team's reserve driver, and will also take part in Friday practice for the team during the season. The team's car, the VJM05, was launched at Silverstone on 3 February.
The Force India crew tried to pull out of the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix due to a revolution against the regime and the death of a protester. However, after the team's refusal to take to the circuit, there was a confrontation between F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and the Force India team.
Complete Formula One resultsEdit
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)
|2008||VJM01||Ferrari 056 2.4 V8||B||AUS||MAL||BHR||ESP||TUR||MON||CAN||FRA||GBR||GER||HUN||EUR||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||CHN||BRA||0||10th|
|2009||VJM02||Mercedes FO 108W 2.4 V8||B||AUS||MAL||CHN||BHR||ESP||MON||TUR||GBR||GER||HUN||EUR||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||BRA||ABU||13||9th|
|2010||VJM03||Mercedes FO 108X 2.4 V8||B||BHR||AUS||MAL||CHN||ESP||MON||TUR||CAN||EUR||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||KOR||BRA||ABU||68||7th|
|2011||VJM04||Mercedes FO 108Y 2.4 V8||P||AUS||MAL||CHN||TUR||ESP||MON||CAN||EUR||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||KOR||IND||ABU||BRA||69||6th|
|Paul di Resta||10||10||11||Ret||12||12||18||14||15||13||7||11||8||6||12||10||13||9||8|
|2012||VJM05||Mercedes FO 108Z 2.4 V8||P||AUS||MAL||CHN||BHR||ESP||MON||CAN||EUR||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||KOR||IND||ABU||USA||BRA||109||7th|
|Paul di Resta||10||7||12||6||14||7||11||7||Ret||11||12||10||8||4||12||12||12||9||15||19|
|2013||VJM06||Mercedes FO 108Z 2.4 V8||P||AUS||MAL||CHN||BHR||ESP||MON||CAN||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||KOR||JPN||IND||ABU||USA||BRA||77||6th|
|Paul di Resta||8||Ret||8||4||7||9||7||9||11||18†||Ret||Ret||20†||Ret||11||8||6||15||11|