|Team||Sahara Force India F1 Team|
Eying another record season
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 One Singapore Grand Prix, where a huge turnout of supporters is guaranteed.
Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella made history in 2008 when he drove the first-ever Formula One car on Singapore’s Marina Bay circuit during practice for the inaugural night race.
Force India’s identity and much of its allure comes from the charismatic presence of its 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 – which grew out of the former Jordan team - is best remembered for a heady period in 2009 when Giancarlo Fisichella earned the team 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 to date.
After a debut season with Ferrari engines, from 2009 to date, the Force India team has been powered by Mercedes. This has allowed the team to press on with their own aerodynamic and chassis developments while taking advantage of proven engine technologies.
Force India has enjoyed further success in recent seasons with a fifth place finish in the constructors’ championship in 2015 being beaten a year later with fourth in 2016.
The team enjoys a deserved reputation for delivering excellent results on a small budget, and long-time driver Sergio Perez has scored four impressive podiums in the last three years.