|Team||Sahara Force India F1 Team|
|Power Unit||Mercedes-Benz PU106A Hybrid|
Sahara Force India F1 Team
“There are a lot of Indians and a lot of our fans based in Singapore, and there’s always a great atmosphere in the city. It’s one of the highlights of the year, the place looks wonderful when it’s lit up and I always look forward to it.”
Dr. Vijay Mallya. Team Principal, Sahara Force India
No other team carries the hopes and pride of a nation and subcontinent quite like Force India. For that reason alone the team grabs attention like no other, not least at the FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX, where a huge turnout of supporters is guaranteed.
Some may remember too that a Force India car driven by Giancarlo Fisichella made history in 2008. It muscled its way to the head of the Pit Lane to become the first-ever Formula One™ car to take to the track, for the first ever test session ahead of the inaugural night race.
Somewhat illogically at first sight, the team which is India’s sporting flag-carrier is actually based in England, with its headquarters at Silverstone. The conundrum comes about because the team traces its ancestry back to the Jordan team, which was renamed Spyker, and then became Midland - and finally Force India, just in time for the 2008 season.
In fact, the team’s base, in the heart of Britain’s motorsport equivalent to ‘silicon valley’, means that the team has easy access to the specialist engineering and scientific resources that can boost development. It is particularly noteworthy that within a 20km radius, Red Bull, Mercedes, Lotus, Williams, Marussia and Caterham are all close neighbours.
Force India’s identity and much of its force comes from the charismatic presence of Team Principal Dr. Vijay Mallya, a politician and entrepreneur whose business interests have spilled over into the pursuit of an Indian identity in this global sport. The team though has now grown beyond Dr. Mallya’s direct sponsorship, marked in 2011 by the acquisition of a major stake in the team by Lucknow-based magnate Subrata Roy Sahara.
On the track, perhaps Force India is best remembered for a heady period in 2009 when Giancarlo Fisichella earned Force India a surprise pole position at Spa-Francorchamps in 2009 and led the Grand Prix before being forced to give best to Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari. However Fisichella went on to finish second, Force India's best result yet.
After a debut season with Ferrari engines, from 2009 to date the Force India team has been powered by Mercedes and in addition has a technical partnership with McLaren. The has allowed the team to press on with their own aerodynamic and chassis developments while taking advantage of proven engine and gearbox technologies.
This engineering strategy is proving a good one as the 2014 season brings with it a raft of new technologies that otherwise a smaller team might struggle to master. In addition this season Force India has a new driver line-up that brings two proven talents to the team. Sergio Pérez joins from McLaren, while Nico Hulkenberg returns to Force India after a season at Sauber.