The Force India Reawakens

By The Way - Weekly Columns


So it has been announced that Force India will release their car on February 25th, but they're also unveiling a new team name and logo, after months of speculation. You may be asking why, and what they'll change their name to after nearly 10 years of being Force India. Filings from Companies House show that FORCE may be the new team name, standing for Formula One Racing and Control Engineering. So, legally, the new team will be known as FORCE Formula One Team. Why? The team thinks it's difficult to attract sponsorship due to having the India in the name - and Formula One and the team not being prevalent in the country - despite the team having a team sponsor - Sahara - and a sponsor for the car - BWT. It's most likely due to Vijay Mallya hating India due to them wanting to arrest him, hiding away somewhere in the UK, due to the amount of debt he owes, and some very shady dealings... Anyway, with the end of the Force India name approaching, I thought it'd be best to look at the life of Force India.... It beats doing ANOTHER story from Williams... The team stems from Jordan Grand Prix team, which then became Midland F1 in 2005, until it was bought by Spyker in 2006. At the tailed of 2007, Mallya and Michiel Mol, who was Spyker's Formula One Director, bought the team, and renamed it Force India. 2008 was the first season for the team, retaining Adrian Sutil and adding Giancarlo Fisichella as the two teams drivers, driving the VJM01, power by Ferrari. With an improved budget, the team's aim was to beat Super Aguri, which had been fighting with Spyker in 2007, at the end of the field. The team ended 10th out of 11 in the Constructors, with Fisichella achieving the best result for the team, finishing P10 during the Spanish Grand Prix. 2009 was when the switch to Mercedes happened, with the team still using Mercedes power today. The deal also gave Force India gearboxes, hydraulic systems and KERS systems from McLaren-Mercedes. After some close chances during the season, like the wet Chinese GP, and German GP, Force India finally got their first points at the Belgian GP. Fisichella achieved P2 in qualifying, and could of got pole if KERS was better, but achieved the team's first podium and points. Fisichella left the team at the start of September 2009 to race for Ferrari and cover for the injured Felipe Massa, with the team's test driver, Vitantonio Liuzzi, taking the spare race seat. The team finished 9th, 13 points ahead of Toro Rosso. 2010 secured Sutil and Liuzzi for the VJM03. Paul di Resta became the team's new test driver due to being the quickest in a selection of tests held by the team. The team was now scoring point consistently during the season, which allowed it to achieve 7th in the WCC, despite a number of key personnel, for example, James Key, leaving the team. 2011 saw di Resta replace Liuzzi to partner Sutil in the VJM04, with Nico Hulkenberg becoming the reserve driver. Team further improved their results, with the team achieving 6th in the WCC, only 5 points behind 5th place Renault. 2012 saw Sutil finally leave the team, with the drivers now being di Resta and Hulkenberg, and Bianchi now reserve driver, for the VJM05, which achieved 7th in the WCC. The VJM06 saw Sutil return to the team, as a replacement for Hulkenberg, with di Resta staying on board with the team, which saw the team secure 6th in the WCC. Nico Hulkenberg returned for 2014, with Sergio Perez joining from McLaren, as di Resta and Sutil left the team, for the VJM07. Bahrain saw the team achieve the team's first podium since Fisichella at Spa 2009, with Perez getting P3 for the team, while the team stayed P6 in the WCC. 2015 secured Hulkenberg and Perez for another year, while the team was supposedly near to financial collapse, missing the start of winter testing. The financial difficulties meant it delayed the introduction of a B-Spec Car, appearing at the British Grand Prix. Despite this, the team achieved 5th in the WCC. 2016 saw two podiums for the team by Perez - Monaco and Baku - which saw the team's most successful season, achieving 4th in the WCC. 2017 saw the introduction of BWT and the pink car, as well as Esteban Ocon replacing Nico Hulkenberg. The team didn't achieving any podiums, but consistent points finishes meat the team finished P4, for another year. And that takes us to now, with Force India evolving, from Jordan to Midland, to Spyker, to Force India, to... We'll find out February 25th at Barcelona, just before testing begins. Another car date is Williams (they somehow find their way into the blogs...) with the FW41 being shown in London on Feb 15. That's all from me, goodbye!