Force india ready for 2009

 

f1One team on the grid has seen more change in the past few years than all the others combined. From Jordan to Midland to Spyker, they started 2008 as Force India. With a new billionaire owner, Dr Vijay Mallya, Ferrari engines, a strengthened technical team headed by the irrepressible Mike Gascoyne, and a driver line-up featuring veteran Giancarlo Fisichella and promising talent Adrian Sutil, it was a fresh start.

Nevertheless, in Melbourne both Sutil and Fisichella surpassed expectations, qualifying relatively strongly in 17th and 19th. Though they were well adrift of the pole position time (and neither finished the race), it was a warning shot to the team’s nearest rivals, in particular fellow backmarkers Super Aguri, and even to some of the bigger names (Renault’s Piquet qualified down in 21st).

Off track, their reputation grew as well – Force India are fast becoming the party team of the paddock, rivalling even Red Bull for celebrity pull, while there’s an ever-growing Indian fan base ready to cheer them on ahead of a future Indian Grand Prix. 

Gascoyne and team principal Colin Kolles would leave, with Mallya taking direct control for the coming season. The Ferrari engines have also been ditched in favour of a more encompassing link-up with McLaren and Mercedes-Benz for 2009, encompassing engine, gearbox and KERS.

Force India are clearly in the midst of yet another evolution – perhaps even revolution – and with the 2009 regulation changes set to mix things up, and with their development programme now well-rooted, Mallya’s team may yet make good their ambitious aims.

All the best………….. Rock on force india

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