Force India’s story begins with a plucky Irishman called Eddie Jordan who 1991 burst on to the Formula One scene with one of the most attractive Formula One cars ever built, a fist full of Pepsi Co sponsorship dollars to fly the 7 Up flag and an Italian called Andrea de Cesaris, who had a reputation for crashing and under achieving, as their lead driver.
Against the odds Jordan finished a highly creditable 6th in their first season of competition. When Jordan’s second driver, Bertrand Gachot, was incarcerated for an incident involving pepper spray and a cab driver in London, Eddie introduced Micheal Schumacher to Formula one at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, but failed to keep him beyond his debut race, from which retired with clutch failure on the first lap, for which he qualified an impressive seventh.
Jordan’s highlight season came in 1999 when with cast off Mugnen tuned Honda V10 motors the team finsihed 3rd in the constructors championship behind only Ferrari and McLaren Mercedes. Jordan’s lead driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen also came third in the World Drivers Championship with 2 victories.
In 2005 Eddie sold out to Alex Shnaider who rebranded the team Midland F1 which became the first F1 entry. Midland F1 achieved nothing in 2006, unless you count two top ten non points paying finishes, and Alex sold the team on to late season Dutch sponsor Spyker before the 2006 season had ended.
Spyker F1, like Midland F1, only lasted for a single season during which Adrian Sutil scored a single world championship point for an 8th place finish in the Japanese Grand Prix. Before the 2007 season has ended Spyker F1 was sold to a consortium led by Vijay Mallya an was rebranded Force India for the 2008 season.
With the aid of some financial stability the team progressed from scoring no points with their Ferrari powered car in 2008 to becoming 6th place finishers in the 2011 constructors championship.
During that time Giancarlo Fisichella, who scored Jordan’s last Formula One win in 2002, scored Force India best ever result a 2nd place in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix with the now Mercedes powered VJM02, a result that led Giancarlo to join Ferrari as a replacement for the injured Felipe Massa for the remainder of 2009.
In 2012 Adrian Sutil sat out the season to focus on a legal issue and Paul di Resta was joined by another German Nico Hülkenberg at Force India. Both drivers scored season high 4th place finishes but the team still only finished the season 7th in the constructors championship.
With half an eye on a possible drive at Ferrari as an eventual replacement for Felipe Massa, Nico Hülkenberg Force India’s top scorer in 2012 left to join the Ferrari powered Sauber team for 2013 and Adrian Sutil rejoined Force India.
The design of the VJM 06 featured today was over seen by Technical Director Andrew Green, the all new carbon fibre chassis is powered by a 2.4 litre / 146 cui Mercedes Benz FO 108F motor with a mandated maximum 18,000 rpm limit and a Mercedes AMG Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). The transmission is 7 speed semi automatic built by McLaren Racing.
Paul di Resta seen above managed 9 points paying finishes in 2013 with a season high 4th in Bahrain to finish 12th in the Drivers Championship. His services will not be retained in 2014 when Paul is expected to return to the German DTM Touring Car championship.
Adrian Sutil, seen above, managed eight points scoring finishes but with a season high of ‘only’ 5th in Monaco on his way to finishing 13th in the drivers championship. With Ferrari opting to re employ Kimi Raikkönen Nico Hülkenberg decided to leave Sauber and rejoin Force India for 2014 while Adrian move the other way to join Esteban Gutiérrez at Sauber.
After equaling their best Constructors Championship finish with another 6th place finish in 2013 Nico will be joined at Force India by Mexican hot shot Sergio Pérez for 2014 when the teams VJM07 cars will be again be powered by Mercedes.
Thanks for joining me on this “Equalled Best Season” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an Edwardian Mercer Raceacout. Don’t forget to come back now !river