Force India, Summons Formula One to India

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RAMON TYLER

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Auto Racing News
  • Force India, Summons Formula One to India

Force India, Summons Formula One to India

 

It is India on the move once again, now with the full speed of the autos. This region is growing fast in all fields of life including the sports. The love of sports in general and auto sports in particular took the first Indian team to the Formula One. In the year 2009 for the first time ever a team from this soil entered into Formula One.

 

They were lucky the last year to grab one pole, one podium and one fastest lap which resulted in the ending of the gloom and obscurity that was thought to be sheltering the Indian Motor Sports till then. They speeded ahead for the tangible step of becoming a front running team for the Formula One.

 

A dream and vision of the successful businessman Dr Vijay Mallya and the Mol family was turning reality. The team was purchased by them two years prior to this.

In the year 2007, towards its ending months, the initial creation of the team was finalised when Dr Mallya laid the foundation of the joint venture company called Orange India Holdings. The ever growing businessman, Dr Mallya is the proud son of Vittal Mallya, a famous industrialist and also the owner of the United Breweries Group and Kingfisher Airlines.  Besides this Formula One team, he also owns the Indian Premier League team called the Bangalore Royal Challengers and the East Bengal team of the FCI-League.

The co-owner of the team, Michiel Mol is actually himself into the software business but has been involved in Formula One since long. Together, they initially bought the team from the Dutch manufacturers of cars called the Spyker Cars N.V. The team was then called the Spyker F1 team and was bought for 88 million. It was on 24th October 2007 that the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) accepted the team to change its name from Spyker to Force India.

It was only the next year, i.e. in 2008, when the historical day came as the Force India F1 Team went on the track for the FIA Formula One World Championship for the first time ever, the first ever Indian team.

At present the team is settled in Silverstone, UK, and will take part in the 2010 championship. This year marks its third year of the competition at the Formula One, with its drivers Adrian Sutil from Germany and Tonio Liuzzi from Italy.

Force India is a team that yet has a very long way to go as it is counted among the relatively younger teams and has a strong heritage and is rooted deep in the sports. It holds its roots back to the ashes of Jordan Grand Prix, which was created in 1991 by Irishman Eddie Jordan. The team was never able grow as one of the biggest teams in the field yet it possessed the ability to run constantly among the front teams and of course there had been instances when they were able to outrace them. As a team, Jordan Grand Prix, over the years was able to score three victories and numerous podiums, finally standing amidst the most successful teams of the Formula One. In 2004 the team was sold to the Midland Group by Jordan. Its name was changed to Midland F1 Racing in 2005. Later, in the year 2006 the team was purchased by Spyker Cars N.V. and it consequently became the Spyker Formula One Team for the 2007 championship. It was the final months of the year when the team was once again renamed, now being Force India.

However, the next year the team was not able to impress much on the track. Though a huge improvement was observed in the in terms of pace but the team failed to end with satisfactory scores. This somehow resulted in the announcement of restructuring the management after the season. The co-owner of the team Vijay Mallya took over as the team principal and new technical tie-up with McLaren was found in 2009.

In 2009 dramatic progress was seen in the team’s performance, the car used by the team, VJM02’s pace was improved enormously. In Belgium, Fisichella gave the breakthrough to the team with their first pole, points and podium.

Currently, the team is successful in keeping their momentum of late 2009 and had been groomed to be regular Q3 as well as point’s contenders. With its name and the patriotic logo it holds, embedding the colours of the Indian flag, the team has developed to be a representation of Indian sports globally and also has spelled a mania for young generation of India. Delhi is all set to host Indian Grand Prix in 2011,  the first ever on the Indian soil.