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Sahara Force India F1 Team

Force India F1 is a Formula One motor racing team. The team was formed in October 2007, when a consortium led by Vijay Mallya and Michiel Mol bought the Spyker F1 team for € 88 million.

Force India F1 represents increased Indian participation within Formula One, with Delhi set to host the first ever Indian Grand Prix in 2011. The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile confirmed the change in name from Spyker to Force India on 24th October 2007.

Although created in 2007, the team's roots can be traced back to 1991, when it was founded as Jordan Grand Prix. The Silverstone-based squad and facilities were bought by the Midland group in 2005 and re-named Midland F1 in 2006, before being sold to Spyker Cars towards the end of the 2006 season. However, the running costs of a small Formula One team once again caused the sale of the team this time to the Orange India Holdings group, with Vijay Mallya and Michiel Mol taking over the ownership of the team.

Rumours about the possible sale of the team had been abundant in the paddock throughout the last few months of the 2007 season, after Spyker announced their intention to sell 50% of the team, less than a year after Spyker bought it from Midland. The cost of the team was € 88 million, several million more than Spyker paid for the team initially.

Colin Kolles remained as team principal in 2008, with Michiel Mol as director of F1 racing, and Mike Gascoyne as the Chief Technology Officer.

Force India used the VJM-01 chassis, an updated version of the previous year's Spyker car, for the first part of the 2008 season. The team used customer Ferrari engines in 2008, with the team's existing deal with Ferrari originally running to 2010. The team also used the Indian flag in its team logo from 2008. Former Spyker sponsor Etihad Airways have a contract with the team until 2009, and have yet to announce any changes to this arrangement. Force India will construct their own cars as Spyker did, rather than using customer chassis. Force India has a contract with Adrian Sutil for 2008. In November 2007 the team invited Vitantonio Liuzzi, Christian Klien, Giancarlo Fisichella, Ralf Schumacher, Franck Montagny and former Spyker test drivers Giedo van der Garde and Roldan Rodriguez to take part in winter tests along with Sutil. Giancarlo Fisichella took the second seat at Force India after being replaced at Renault by Fernando Alonso. On January 10, 2008, Force India confirmed Fisichella as first driver and Vitantonio Liuzzi as a test driver. Adrian Sutil had already been confirmed and took the second driver Role. Former Spyker test drivers Roldan Rodriguez and Giedo van der Garde were confirmed as test drivers for Force India F1.

At Monaco Force India nearly scored their first points. Adrian Sutil had moved up to 4th until Kimi Räikkönen rear-ended him 10 minutes before the end of the race, forcing him to retire. More points were lost in Singapore because the safety car period that ensued after Sutil's accident ruined Fisichella's strategy. He had run as high as 3rd earlier in the race.

On 17 October, Force India announced they would stick with the same drivers for the 2009 season.

The VJM-01 was launched with a white, gold and tungsten colored livery at the Gateway of India, in Mumbai, India, on February 7th 2008. The car was named after Force India F1's owners Dr. Vijay Mallya, Jan Mol and Michel Mol. The car has been fitted with new aerodynamic updates after almost every race.

The VJM-02 will be powered by Mercedes-Benz engines from the 2009 season after signing a five yeal deal on 10 November 2008. The deal also includes supply of McLaren-Mercedes gearboxes, hydraulic systems and Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS).

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