Force India Formula One Team Limited, commonly known as Force India and later Sahara Force India, was a Formula One
racing team and constructor based in Silverstone
, United Kingdom, with an India
n licence. The team was formed in October 2007 when a consortium led by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya
and Dutch businessman Michiel Mol
bought the Spyker F1
team for €88 million.
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 other podium finishes are five third-places, in the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix
, 2015 Russian Grand Prix
, 2016 Monaco Grand Prix
, 2016 European Grand Prix
and the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix
, all achieved by Sergio Pérez
In October 2011, Indian company Sahara India Pariwar
, purchased 42.5% of Force India F1's shares at US$100 million.
A few years later, Vijay Mallya could not afford enough to run Force India. In July 2018, ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix
, the team announced that they had been put into administration
by the High Court in London
In 2018 the team's assets were bought by a consortium of investors, named Racing Point UK
and led by Lawrence Stroll
, the father of then Williams driver Lance Stroll
. The consortium used the assets to create a new entry into the sport named Racing Point Force India
. The constructor that had been founded in 2008 ceased to exist prior to the 2019 Australian Grand Prix when the new team changed their constructor entry to "Racing Point
The team's origins stemmed from the Jordan Grand Prix
team, which entered Formula One racing in based at the Silverstone
circuit. Jordan enjoyed many years in Formula One, winning four races and achieving third place in the Constructors' Championship. 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 the team to the Midland Group
in early 2005.
The Midland owned team renamed Midland F1 Racing
in 2006 spent two seasons at the back of grid, before owner Alex Shnaider
sold the team to Spyker Cars
midway through the season.
scored a point in 2007 and briefly led the ; despite this, the team once again hit financing issues, and was sold on to Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, then chairman of the United Breweries Group
and Michiel Mol
, Spyker's Formula One Director.
The team, bought for €88 million,
was renamed as the Force India Formula One Team for the 2008 season, and retained team principal Colin Kolles
, Chief Technology Officer Mike Gascoyne
, and drivers were Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella.
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
. 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.
was the scene of Force India's first race, and although the 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 , but towards the end of the race Kimi Räikkönen
lost control and hit Sutil's car causing immediate retirement. Although a furious Gascoyne called for Räikkönen 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 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 during an 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 ; 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 .
Force India retained the same drivers for the 2009 season. The VJM02
was powered by Mercedes-Benz
engines, after the team signed a five-year deal on 10 November 2008. The deal also included a supply of McLaren-Mercedes gearboxes, hydraulic systems and the KERS
feature. The car was revealed on 1 March 2009.
At the wet , 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 , 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 at the in Spa-Francorchamps
, when Fisichella qualified fastest.
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 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 was to 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, senior aerodynamicist 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 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. The car was a naturally aspirated V8 producing around 900hp, it proved good for the season.
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 Airtel 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
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.
In the last race of the season, the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix
, Hülkenberg qualified 7th but was promoted to 6th after Pastor Maldonado
received a 10 place grid penalty. By lap three he had moved forward two places and on lap five he passed Fernando Alonso for third place. He moved into second position when McLaren's Lewis Hamilton
pitted on lap 11. Hülkenberg then passed Jenson Button
at the start of lap 19 to take the lead. He and Button built up a 45-second lead before the safety car was deployed because of debris on the track. He still led until he was passed by Hamilton, after sliding at the entry of Turn 8 on lap 49. On lap 55 he collided with Hamilton when the rear of Hülkenberg's car slid out while trying to pass him at Turn 1. After being given a drive-through penalty as a result of the incident, Hülkenberg finished fifth.
The 2013 line-up featured Paul di Resta
for the third successive year. The season also witnessed Adrian Sutil
returning to the team line-up, replacing Nico Hülkenberg
as the team's Second Driver. The team's new car, the VJM06
was launched on 1 February 2013 at the team's base near the Silverstone Circuit.
At the season-opening , Sutil finished seventh, while di Resta finished eighth, giving the team their best ever start to a season.
returned to the team for 2014, while Paul di Resta
was replaced by Sergio Pérez
. Adrian Sutil
moved to Sauber
and was replaced by Nico Hülkenberg from Sauber. Daniel Juncadella
was signed by the team as a reserve driver.
The season opener in Australia
saw Hülkenberg finish sixth while Pérez finished tenth after the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo
. This was also the first time Hülkenberg completed a lap at the Albert Park circuit. At the Bahrain Grand Prix
, Pérez put Force India on the podium with a third-place finish, its first time on the podium since Spa 2009.
, Pérez achieved the third fastest lap in Force India's history. Force India were good after the major regulation change of hybrid engines and turbocharged powertrains.
On 19 October 2014, the team stated Hülkenberg had secured his seat for 2015. On 7 November 2014, before the , Force India announced that Pérez would remain with the team for the season. Pérez stated that contract negotiations were "ongoing", in regards to a further contract extension. The deal was officially confirmed two weeks later at the , with Pérez signing a two-year contract, until the end of the season.
Force India missed the first pre-season test in Jerez
, due to an unexplained setback in the development of the Force India VJM08
. It was later revealed that Force India was, according to insider Ralf Bach, "facing financial collapse," and was "currently insolvent
." He also suggested that the delays in the VJM08 were due to the fact that "important parts suppliers have not been paid". Bob Fernley, deputy Team Principal, later admitted that the team was likely to miss all three pre-season tests, though he said that they might use the 2014 car to do some "driver and tyre work." However, Force India's 2015 car finally broke cover when Hülkenberg hit the track on day two of the third and final test at Barcelona. The car was an updated version of last year's challenger and was immediately reliable. They had a good start to the season with Hülkenberg finishing in a strong seventh place in the Australian Grand Prix
. However they struggled thereafter and did not score points until the Bahrain Grand Prix
courtesy of an eighth-place finish by Pérez. Both drivers delivered strong results in Monaco
. The team later introduced a highly modified B-spec car at the 2015 British Grand Prix
, featuring two distinctive vents in the nose. The car was a significant step forward from its predecessor, particularly in high speed corners. In Belgium
, Pérez almost took the lead of the race on lap one and ultimately finished in a strong fifth place. He followed up this drive by a sixth-place finish in Monza
and seventh in Singapore
. In September Sahara Force India lodged a formal complaint to the European Union against Formula One for breaching competition laws. At the Russian Grand Prix
, Pérez put Force India on the podium with a third-place finish, its first podium since the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix
. Hülkenberg and Pérez finished seventh and eighth in Pérez' home race in Mexico City
. This upturn in form helped Force India achieve their best placing of 5th place with 136 points in the Constructors' Championship, although scoring 19 fewer points than its predecessor. This is a remarkable achievement considering the team's financial plight and their late preparations of the season by delaying the B spec version of their car. The Force India VJM08 for 2015 was suitable for the aerodynamic changes from the 2014 season.
Force India retained Hülkenberg and Pérez for a third successive season in . It proved to be the most successful season in the team's history to that point, after finishing fourth in the Constructors' Championship with 173 points.
Pérez scored his first of two podium finishes at the , finishing third, which was also the first time that the team had scored a podium at Monaco in any of its guises – Jordan
or Force India. Pérez finished third again two races later at the in Baku
. At the the team managed to get their first double-finish within the top-five since the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix
with Hülkenberg finishing fourth and Pérez finishing in fifth. As a result, the team took fourth place in the Constructors' Championship from Williams
, their highest ever finishing position in the team's history.
In , Hülkenberg left Force India to join Renault
. Esteban Ocon
was signed to replace him in his first full season in Formula One, having driven for Manor
during the second half of the 2016 season. Pérez remained at Force India for a fourth season.
brought a change to a pink livery, following a new sponsorship deal with BWT
Ocon and Pérez finished the first five races of the season in the points, notably at the with Pérez finishing fourth and Ocon a career-best fifth. This run of points finished ended at the with both cars finishing outside the points. The two have been involved in a number of collisions in subsequent races. At the , both drivers collided with each other with Pérez damaging his front left suspension and losing his front wing, before eventually retiring from the race. Ocon recovered from a puncture to finish sixth. At the , the two collided again whilst battling for position with Ocon damaging his front wing and Pérez getting a puncture. Ocon finished ninth but Pérez retired from the damage caused by the puncture late in the race.
The team secured fourth place in the Constructors' Championship for a second successive season at the . The points total at the end of this season was 187, the team's best points tally ever.
For the 2018 season
the team retained the 2017
line up of Sergio Pérez
and Esteban Ocon
. At the opening race in Australia
, Sergio Pérez
and Esteban Ocon
finished 11th and 12th respectively.
The team was put into administration
during the Hungarian Grand Prix
. The legal action was instigated by a group of creditors, including Sergio Pérez, as a means of allowing the team to continue to operate while a new owner was sought. Pérez justified the action as a response to a winding-up petition filed by HMRC and supported by Formtech, a supplier, which would have resulted in an unmanaged insolvency of the company and almost certain collapse of the team. A consortium led by Lawrence Stroll
ended up acquiring the team's assets.
Approaching the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix
, the situation regarding the team's ability to compete remained unsure, as in order to buy the shares in the team, the consortium needed agreement with the creditors of the parent company - including 13 banks which held a freezing order over the assets of the parent. Agreement could not be reached in time, so the consortium was unable to buy the shares, and was limited to purchasing only the assets of the team. The team then had to participate in the F1 Championship under a new name, thus the adding of "Racing Point" to the team's name. The FIA
excluded the former Force India entry from the championship "due to its inability to complete the season", and welcomed the new legal entity, Racing Point Force India F1 Team
, that was allowed to race, but not to keep any points of the old team. This signaled the end of the constructor that had been founded for the 2008 season.
Sponsorship and partners
, a brand owned by Vijay Mallya, was the primary sponsor. Other sponsors for 2008 included ICICI Bank
, Kanyan Capital
and Reliance Industries Limited
. The above sponsors, except ICICI Bank and Kanyan Capital, continued to sponsor the team in 2009. New sponsors include AVG
and Whyte & Mackay
In December 2009, Computational Research Laboratories
(CRL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons
, and Force India Formula One Team announced an exclusive three-year multimillion-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.
Force India F1 has tied up with Airbus
for technological support, and has a technical partnership with McLaren
In October 2011, Indian company Sahara India Pariwar
purchased 42.5% of the team's shares for $100 million.
Mallya retained 42.5%, and the remaining 15% belonged to the Mol family. The team was renamed Sahara Force India as a result. The shares sold were newly issued; Mallya and Mol did not sell any of their existing shares.
Brazilian auto parts manufacturer Aethra
joined the team as an official partner in 2012. Other sponsors include Kingfisher Airlines
(former), Whyte and Mackay
, United Breweries Group
, Vladivar Vodka
, AVG Technologies
, Schroth Racing, Muc-Off, Hackett, Chatham-Marine, UPS Direct, STILL
and STL. Smirnoff
announced a partnership with the team in May 2014.
announced a partnership with the team in June 2014.
Force India announced a partnership with the Japanese company NEC Corporation (Mexican Division) for the 2015 season.
Force India supported Hilmer Motorsport in GP2 and GP3 in 2014. In 2015 Force India announced a partnership with Adaptavist. Since 2011, Force India have also provided backing to teenager Jehan Daruvala
following his win of the team's 'One in a Billion' competition.
Hype Energy Drinks
has been a Force India sponsor since the 2015 season, with their CEO, former Formula 1 driver Bertrand Gachot
, having driven for predecessor team Jordan
during the 1991 season. Force India have featured Hype Energy branding on the rear wing and side pods of the car for races where alcohol advertising is prohibited. Hype Energy also supply the drivers with personal drinks bottles for races.
On 14 March 2017, Force India announced a new sponsorship with BWT AG
, which saw the VJM10 gain a striking pink livery, leading to the 'Pink Panther' nickname used for the cars by fans, commentators and the team themselves on social media
Another new sponsor for 2017 was whisky brand Johnnie Walker
, with whom Force India struck a multi-year deal.
Category:Organizations established in 2007
Category:Formula One entrants
Category:Indian auto racing teams
Category:Sahara India Pariwar
Category:Companies that have entered administration in the United Kingdom
Category:Auto racing teams established in 2007
Category:Auto racing teams disestablished in 2018