Force India's Journey in F1 (2008-2018): Cars, Drivers, Stats and more
2019 is the first year of Formula 1 racing since 2007 that won't feature Force India on the grid. Much like one of their previous incarnations Jordan, the Silverstone-based team consistently achieved creditable results despite their small budget. This had won them an army of fans, many seeing them as the classic underdogs in F1.
Here's a summary of the history of Formula 1's only ever Indian team and how they rose from the ashes of Spyker to stand on the podium numerous times is a very impressive feat.
2008 - VJM01
Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella & Adrian Sutil
Best Qualifying: 12th
Best Finish: 10th
Points Scored: 0 (10th in the Constructor's Standings)
We all know the Chinese proverb "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and Force India definitely personify that when you compare their first and final cars entered in Formula 1. After Vijay Mallya bought Spyker in 2008, Force India endured a tough first season in F1 with what was the slowest car on the grid after Super Aguri folded part-way through the year.
The team retained Adrian Sutil from Spyker and hired the experienced Giancarlo Fisichella, relying on their drivers to steer clear of danger and out-strategize their opponents with the hope of scoring points. Unfortunately, no top 8 finish would arrive in '08, but they wouldn't have much longer to wait...
2009 - VJM02
Drivers: Sutil, Fisichella & Vitantonio Liuzzi
Best Qualifying: 1st
Best Finish: 2nd
Points Scored: 13 (9th in the Constructor's Standings)
It's hard to believe that Force India had never scored a point before the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix, but after the race at Spa, they had 8, thanks to an incredible drive by Fisichella. Fisi also claimed the team's first pole position that weekend and Adrian Sutil would also set Force India's first Fastest Lap in Italy a few weeks later. Fisichella moved to Ferrari mid-way through the season, meaning that Vitantonio Liuzzi would get his chance in the car for the rest of the campaign.