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Force India Formula One Team Limited, trading as Force India F1, is a Formula One motor racing team. 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 € 88 million.[1]

Force India F1 represents increased Indian participation within Formula One, with Delhi set to host the first ever Indian Grand Prix in 2011.[2] The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile confirmed the change in name from Spyker to Force India on 24 October 2007.[3]

After going through 29 races without a point, Force India won their first Formula One world championship points and podium place when Giancarlo Fisichella finished second in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.[4] Force India scored points again in the following race when Adrian Sutil finished fourth after starting the race from second at the Italian GP.

BackgroundEdit

Although created in 2007, the team's roots can be traced back to 1991, when it was founded as Jordan Grand Prix. Jordan enjoyed many years in Formula One even running the title close in 1999, but financial problems crept in and the team's performance dried up. Eddie Jordan, the then owner, realised the writing was on the wall and the best way to save the team was to opt for a sale.

The Silverstone-based squad and facilities were bought by the Midland group in 2005 and re-named Midland F1 Racing in 2006, before being sold to Spyker Cars towards the end of the 2006 season. However, the running costs of a small Formula One team once again caused the sale of the team this time to the Orange India Holdings group, with Vijay Mallya and Michiel Mol taking over the ownership of the team.

Buyout of Spyker F1Edit

Rumours about the possible sale of the team had been abundant in the paddock throughout the last few months of the 2007 season, after Spyker announced their intention to sell 50% of the team,[5] less than a year after Spyker bought it from Midland. The cost of the team was € 88 million, several million more than Spyker paid for the team initially.[6]

Formula 1 (2008 - present)Edit

Colin Kolles remained as team principal in 2008, with Michiel Mol as director of F1 racing, and Mike Gascoyne as the Chief Technology Officer.

2008: Beginnings and Ferrari Engines Edit

Force India used the VJM01 chassis, an updated version of the previous year's Spyker car, for the first part of the 2008 season.[7] The team used customer Ferrari engines in 2008, with the team's existing deal with Ferrari originally running to 2010.[8] The team also used the Indian flag in its team logo from 2008.[3] Former Spyker sponsor Etihad Airways have a contract with the team until 2009, and have yet to announce any changes to this arrangement. Force India will construct their own cars as Spyker did, rather than using customer chassis.[9] Force India has a contract with Adrian Sutil for 2008.[6] In November 2007 the team invited Vitantonio Liuzzi, Christian Klien, Giancarlo Fisichella, Ralf Schumacher, Franck Montagny and former Spyker test drivers Giedo van der Garde and Roldan Rodriguez to take part in winter tests along with Sutil.[10] Giancarlo Fisichella took the second seat at Force India after being replaced at Renault by Fernando Alonso.[11][12] On January 10, 2008, Force India confirmed Fisichella as first driver and Vitantonio Liuzzi as a test driver. Adrian Sutil had already been confirmed and took the second driver Role. Former Spyker test drivers Roldan Rodriguez and Giedo van der Garde were confirmed as test drivers for Force India F1.[13]

At Monaco 2008 it looked like Force India was near to scoring their first point as Adrian Sutil had moved up to fourth place until Kimi Räikkönen collided with him 10 minutes before the end of the race. However, it was judged that Sutil was in wrong position because he had overtaken under yellow flags.[14] More points were lost in Singapore because the safety car period that ensued after Sutil's accident ruined Fisichella's strategy. He had run as high as third earlier in the race.

VJM01Edit

Main article: Force India VJM01

The VJM01 was launched with a white, gold and tungsten colored livery at the Gateway of India, in Mumbai, India, on February 7, 2008. The car was named after Force India F1's owners Dr. Vijay Mallya, Jan Mol and Michel Mol. The car was fitted with new aerodynamic updates after almost every race.

Mercedes' engines and 2009 Success (2009 Season) Edit

Force India retained the same drivers for the 2009 season.[15] At the wet 2009 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 GP, Sutil qualified in seventh place and battled for the points, reaching second at one point, before crashing with Kimi Räikkönen after leaving the pitlane 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 GP in Spa.[16] He finished the race in second position, less than a second behind Kimi Räikkönen earning Force India's first ever points and podium position.

On 3 September 2009, Force India announced that they were releasing Fisichella to allow him to race for Scuderia 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.[17]

In the qualifying session of the 2009 Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Sutil qualified second and Liuzzi, on his 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 gear box failure. Force India finished the season 9th in front of Scuderia Toro Rosso with 13 points, however, this didn't reflect the vast improvement Force India made from the start of the season.

VJM02Edit

Main article: Force India VJM02

The VJM02 is powered by Mercedes-Benz engines from the 2009 season after signing a five year deal on 10 November 2008. The deal also includes supply of McLaren-Mercedes gearboxes, hydraulic systems and Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS). The car was revealed on March 1, 2009.[18] The VJM02 was the first Force India car to pick up points, pole and fastest lap at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix but the race was won by Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen.

2010 and the FutureEdit

The team announced on 27 November 2009, that it is to keep Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi for the 2010 season.[19] The team tested Paul di Resta and J. R. Hildebrand at Jerez, with di Resta setting a much faster time.[19] The VJM03 will be the team's 2010 Formula One season chassis.[20] Di Resta was confirmed as the team's test driver on February 2, 2010.[21]

SponsorshipEdit

Kingfisher, a brand owned by Vijay Mallya, is the primary sponsor. Other sponsors for 2008 included ICICI Bank, Medion, Kanyan Capital and Reliance Industries Limited.[22] Kingfisher also sponsored FMS International, a GP2 team partly-owned by Fisichella. The above sponsors, except ICICI Bank and Kanyan Capital, continue to sponsor the team in 2009. New sponsors include AVG, Airbus and Whyte & Mackay.

PartnersEdit

In December, Computational Research Laboratories (CRL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, and Force India Formula One Team announced an exclusive three-year multi-million dollar partnership deal to offer a fully automated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) solution to aid the design of the team’s next generation race cars as well improve aerodynamic efficiency in the current racing models.[23] Force India F1 has tied up with Airbus and EADS for technological support, and has a technical partnership with McLaren.[24]

Complete Formula One resultsEdit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Chassis Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Points WCC
2008 Force India VJM01 Ferrari 056 V8 B AUS MAL BHR ESP TUR MON CAN FRA GBR GER HUN EUR BEL ITA SIN JPN CHN BRA 0 10th
Flag of Germany Adrian Sutil Ret Ret 19 Ret 16 Ret Ret 19 Ret 15 Ret Ret 13 19 Ret Ret Ret 16
22px-Flag of Italy Giancarlo Fisichella Ret 12 12 10 Ret Ret Ret 18 Ret 16 15 14 17 Ret 14 Ret 17 18
2009 Force India VJM02 Mercedes FO 108W V8 B AUS MAL CHN BHR ESP MON TUR GBR GER HUN EUR BEL ITA SIN JPN BRA ABU 13 9th
Flag of Germany Adrian Sutil 9 17 17 16 Ret 14 17 17 15 Ret 10 11 4 Ret 13 Ret 17
22px-Flag of Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 11 18 14 15 14 9 Ret 10 11 14 12 2
22px-Flag of Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Ret 14 14 11 15

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Spyker F1 team officially sold". GPUpdate.net. 2007-10-05. http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/news/2007/10/05/spyker-f1-team-officially-sold/. 
  2. "Indian Grand Prix debut pushed back to 2011". telegraph. 2008-09-30. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/3108572/Indian-Grand-Prix-debut-pushed-back-to-2011-Formula-One.html. Retrieved 2008-10-08. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "FIA approve Spyker's Force India name change". Formula One Administration Ltd. 2007-10-24. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2007/10/7036.html. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  4. "Spa-Francorchamps results". BBC Sport. 2009-08-30. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/results/7921166.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  5. "Spyker considers sale of team". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/teams/6946811.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-07. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Spyker changes name". BBC Sport. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7060350.stm. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  7. "Force India sticking with the F8-VII". uk.eurosport.yahoo.com. 2007-11-13. http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/13112007/13/force-india-sticking-f8-vii.html. Retrieved 2007-11-16. 
  8. "Spyker's Dr Vijay Mallya". Formula One. http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2007/10/6964.html. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  9. "Mallya: Spyker to remain a constructor". Formula One. 2007-09-11. http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2007/9/6753.html. Retrieved 2007-10-30. 
  10. "Force India Begins Winter Testing". Spyker F1. http://www.spykerf1.nl/?pag=89&newsid=521. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  11. "Force India sign Sutil’s new teammate!". Automoto365.com. 2007-12-17. http://f1.automoto365.com/news/controller.php?lang=en&theme=default&month=12&year=2007&nextMode=GpNewsForm&news_id=29131. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  12. "Another Fisichella to Force India Report". F1-Live.com. 2007-12-21. http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/071221095657.shtml. Retrieved 2007-12-21. 
  13. "Force India Profile on Formula1.com". Formula1.com. http://www.formula1.com/teams_and_drivers/teams/188/. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  14. "F1 News: Sutil reprimanded for passing under yellow". autosport.com. 2008-05-25. http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/67745. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  15. "Force India keep drivers for 2009". BBC Sport. 2008-10-17. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7676066.stm. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  16. "Spa-Francorchamps results: qualifying". BBC Sport. 2009-08-29. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/results/8225297.stm. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  17. "Liuzzi replaces Fisichella at Force India". Reuters India. 2009-09-07. http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-42274320090907. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  18. New Force India Formula One Car: VJM 02 to be revealed on Sunday
  19. 19.0 19.1 http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/091127131551.shtml
  20. "Perfect Partners - Exclusive Q&A with Force India's Simon Roberts". formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 2009-09-29. http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2009/9/10009.html. Retrieved 2010-02-06. 
  21. Elizalde, Pablo (2010-02-02). "Force India signs di Resta as reserve". autosport.com (Haymarket Publications). http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/81209. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  22. Force India F1 Sponsors
  23. "CRL partners with Force India to help design the next generation of Formula 1 cars". forceindiaf1.com. 2009-12-16. http://www.forceindiaf1.com/index/page_id/356/news_id/289. Retrieved 2010-02-01. 
  24. "Force India's first target will be to beat Aguri". racing.indiatimes.com. 2008-02-08. http://racing.indiatimes.com/Force_Indias_first_target_will_be_to_beat_Aguri/articleshow/2768252.cms. Retrieved 2007-02-09. 

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