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On The Grid: Force India Mercedes

The Indian owned F1 team

Posted Jun 07, 2011 by Chris White

The Force India Mercedes

Force India are a British-based Indian team, formed in October 2007 when the Spyker F1 team was bought out by a consortium lead by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya. The team has its origins in the Jordan Grand Prix team that was so dominant in the 1990s and currently have Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta as their drivers.

They started the 2008 season using Ferrari engines, with Sutil and Fisichella as the drivers for their first season, with new owner Mallya focussing on development ahead of the 2009 season where the changes to the rules were hoped to better suit the team. The 2009 season saw Force India combine with Mercedes engines, and Fisichella picked up the first points for the team at Spa. The team believed they would have won, had they stuck with Ferrari engines, which had the now famous KERS system available.

After going 29 races without scoring a single point, many questioned the decision to allow Force India to race in the F1 Championship, but they eventually won their first world championship points - and podium place - when Giancarlo Fisichella finished second at the Belgian Grand Prix in 2009.

The team finished 7th in the World Championship in 2010 with a much improved 68 points in the season, having replaced Fisichella with Vitantonio Liuzzi, and had a best finish of 5th place for Sutil in Malaysia.

The VJM04 model for the 2011 season is the first car created under new technical director Andrew Green and developed using the resources from partners McLaren and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines. In the first race of the year in Australia, Sutil and new driver Paul 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.

So far in 2011, Force India have scored ten points, coming in two of the three opening rounds, in a relatively low-key start to the season, with rookie Di Resta proving more than a match for his experienced team mate.

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