In 2008 when Vijay Mallya took over the Spyker F1 team and named it Force India Racing everyone thought he was crazy (not to mention the name.) However after 11 seasons the name will finally leave the sport and I think we can all agree it will be missed and these 10 years will be looked back on fondly. So without further or do here are the 5 best Force India moments.
5. Fisichella take Pole at Spa.
The 2009 season was a bit of a turbulent season with a mix of results, however there was some success most notably at both Monza and more impressively Spa. Coming into the weekend Giancarlo Fisichella and team-mate Adrian Sutill hadn't even scored a point so nobody could expect them to challenge for the win. But that is exactly what happened, Fisichella took pole ahead of Toyota's Jarno Trulli. In the race he was overtaken by Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen early on and that's how it would stay although Kimi was unable to pull away from the Italian and only crossed the line 0.939 seconds ahead. It was a great second place for Force India but also felt like slightly like a missed opportunity to claim a maiden victory.
Fisichella battling out with Kimi Räikkönen down at La Source.
4. Hulkenberg's eventful Brazil
By 2012 Force India had firmly established itself as a strong midfield team after solid and consistent showings in 2010 and 2012 with both young up and coming drivers such as Paul Di Resta along side recognized established drivers such as Adrian Sutill and Giancarlo Fisichella. In 2012 they had a strong and promising line-up with Scotsman Di Resta teaming up with German youngster Nico Hulkenberg, who had previously driven with Williams in 2010 but had however had a year out in 2011 acting as the test driver for Force India. He had shown promise throughout the season but undoubtedly his most remembered race was the action-packed Brazilian GP. He qualified in an impressive 7th but was soon challenging for a podium after the first lap full of controversies mixed with slippery conditions he was battling with Button and Hamilton for the lead. Until he made a rash move for the lead and collided with Hamilton putting the Brit out of the race and moving him down to 5th where he would finish as the race concluded under the safety car caused by Di Resta crashing with only a handful of laps remaining. Once again this felt like a missed opportunity for something special to happen.
Nico Hulkenberg battling with Jenson Button for the lead.
3. Perez ends podium drought.
At the start of the 2014 season Force India had managed to sign proven midfield driver Sergio Perez from Mclaren after a torrid season only managing 11th in the championship. In Bahrain the two Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were off in a league of their own and the race very much turned into a race for third and with the power of a Mercedes engine in the back of the car they were in a great position to make big gains and that's exactly what the Mexican Perez did finishing a very strong 3rd a long way behind the Mercs however. This was brilliant for the team because it put an end to the 5-year drought since their last podium. This proved to be the start of a successful Force India partnership.
The team celebrate first podium for 5 years.
Giving Ocon a chance.
At the beginning of the 2017 season there was a sense of excitement around the team as they had signed young French superstar Estaban Ocon coming in from Manor Racing to replace the outgoing Nico Hulkenberg. With Ocon joining Perez it looked like Force India had a real chance to push further. The season didn't exactly go as planned however, as the pair collided on a number of occasions and team orders had to be put in place, the team were unable to score a podium in 2017 which was disappointing. 2018 seemed to be different with the pair getting on better and Perez even scored a podium at Baku, this was however until the two collided once again in Singapore leading to team-orders once again having to be enforced. The pair had a fairly consistent end to the season picking up points. The most notable event in the second half of the season was the Brazil GP (and we all know what happened there.) Force India showed great intentions by giving Ocon a drive for two years, sadly however it came to an end as Lance Stroll will be team-mate with Perez for next season with Ocon being out of the sport for a year, however they did give the Frenchman an opportunity to show his talents in F1 and will hopefully be back in a race winning car.
Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll.
1. Perez at Monaco
In 2016 both Perez and Force India had their best season in formula one with the team scoring 187 points and finishing 4th with Sergio finishing on 101 points and 7th (best of the rest) in the drivers championship. The highlight of the season came at Monaco when after a decent qualifying in P7 he made the most of the cars performance mixed with the problems felt by Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettle. He pitted for dry tyres at just the right moment jumping both his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg and soon to be world champion Nico Rosberg to emerge in a superb 3rd place where he just had to keep going to stay on track for a podium which is exactly what he would get as he crossed the line for a magnificent 3rd place his and the teams first at the legendary street circuit. He would pick up a second podium at yet another street circuit this time at the European GP held for the first time in Azerbaijan, a circuit that would prove popular for the Mexican as he would pick up another podium there in 2018.
Checo celebrating a super result at Monaco.
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