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Sahara Force India F1 Team

Formula 1 team

Sahara Force India F1 Team
Credit: Sutton
Team information
F1 debutAustralian Grand Prix, 2008
Season line-up
Race driverNico Hülkenberg
Race driverSergio Pérez
Reserve driverAlfonso Celis Jr
Key members of staff
Team principalVijay Mallya
Deputy team principalRobert Fernley
Chief engineerTom McCullough
Chief operating officerOtmar Szafnauer
Technical directorAndrew Green

Force India have seen a period of stability in their current guise, after being sold from one owner to the next until Vijay Mallya took control. A gradual improvement in results has also been seen, with the team pushing at the higher end of the midfield results. For 2014 onwards, they saw Nico Hülkenberg return to them after a year out, and Sergio Pérez arriving after a disappointing stint at McLaren.

F1 history

The Force India team can trace its origins all the way back to Jordan, the strikingly yellow-liveried outfit founded by Eddie Jordan. From 1991 to 2005, Jordan Grand Prix participated in Formula One, taking a couple of victories at the hands of Damon Hill and Heinz-Harald Frentzen. In their later years, Giancarlo Fisichella took Jordan to a surprise victory in Brazil.

When the finances began to get tight, and their engine deal fell through, Jordan sold the team to the Midland Group. They raced as Jordan for 2005, but were rebranded Midland MF1 Racing for the following season. Midland only participated in one season, picking up zero points, before the team were sold on again.

This time, Dutch sports car makers Spyker took over, rebranding the team and painting the livery a bright orange. As Spyker F1, the team ran again only for a single season, with the maximum four driver changes and one highlight eighth place in Japan. With behind the scenes politics making things difficult for the Spyker racing team, they were sold once more.

Indian entrepreneur Vijay Mallya and Dutch businessman Michiel Mol formed a consortium that bought the team, and for the 2008 season, they renamed it Force India. Towards the end of 2011, the Sahara India company bought a significant stake in the team, equalling Mallya’s 42.5% with Mol’s stake reduced to 15%. The team was then rebranded as Sahara Force India, with the two logos combining on the side of the car.

The team made a habit of running a driver for a year before promoting him to the test driver seat, with Paul di Resta arriving in 2011 and Nico Hülkenberg in 2012. Di Resta drove for them for three years, partnered initially with Adrian Sutil, then Nico, then Sutil again in 2013. Performance has gradually improved from the wrong end of the field towards the midfield, and the team have been close to picking up their first podium on several occasions.

At the end of the 2013 season, Sutil left for midfield rivals Sauber, whilst Di Resta was not retained for 2014. In their place, the team signed Sergio Pérez fresh from McLaren, whilst Hülkenberg returned from a year out at Sauber. Results were consistent but not stellar during the year, leaving the team with a healthy points haul but a disappointing championship finish. Force India retained their driver lineup for 2015 and 2016.

Learn more about Force India with the Pocket F1 Handbook.