Force India remains one of F1’s great success stories, with the compact Silverstone squad providing the sport’s best bang for buck – performance on a shoestring budget.
And it’s that small team “can do” ethos that has seen the squad continue to punch above its weight – with its racer’s mentality developed during its origins as Jordan Grand Prix from 1991 to 2005. and eponymous former owner Eddie Jordan.
SOUNDBITE (English) EDDIE JORDAN,
JORDAN GRAND PRIX FOUNDER:
“We have to be good at every track if we’re ever going to develop into a championship-winning team.”
Since 2008, that racer’s mentality, and midfield-leading performance, has been fostered and built-on by Force India co-founder Vijay Mallya.
…with the British-based squad making the most of its suppliers, including sourcing its entire powertrain from Mercedes.
While Force India has finished fourth in the last two years, as the best of the rest, it slipped back earlier this season following wind-tunnel correlation issues - clawing back lost ground to finish sixth in the constructors’ standings post-Canada.
Mallya has also stepped down as director of the outfit, despite retaining his team principal role, as he fights an extradition request to face charges in India of fraud and money laundering.
All of which makes the squad ripe for a buyout, with several parties said to be interested – including fizzy drinks brand Rich Energy, which confirmed to The Inside Line it is in advanced negotiations with Force India.
“Yes, we have made an official offer,” said Rich Energy CEO William Storey. “Yes, we actively want to buy the team and hope to do so very soon.”
Force India, though, has denied a deal is close to being finalised, making it business as usual as the team prepares for F1’s triple header, in which the focus is on closing the 12-point gap to fifth-placed McLaren.
“The next three races are going to be interesting for us because they’re back on to traditional circuits and that will determine whether our aero packages that we’ve been working on are delivering,” said deputy team principal Bob Fernley.