F1 team review - Force India
Team Force India-Mercedes 2009 Season StatsLast updated: Thursday, 15 November 2012 12:33 UK
BBC PUNDIT EDDIE JORDAN ON FORCE INDIA
"Force India have come on well after a difficult start to the year.
"They have become a much more prominent force in the second half of the season. They've qualified and raced well.
"Adrian Sutil has disappointed me with some silly little accidents, despite his ultimate brilliant speed in the wet and more recently in the dry.
"He hasn't matured but he's now emerging as a really top driver. He's got speed. But he needs to be clear in his mindset as to where he puts his car in race conditions.
"The car has improved through the season. For Giancarlo Fisichella to qualify on pole at Spa and to run so well right on the tail of Kimi Raikkonen for the whole race was an outstanding performance.
"He made the decision then to go to Ferrari but had he stayed it would arguably have been better for the team because, while Vitantonio Liuzzi is very good and may continue next year, it broke the fluid way the team was working.
"It became more difficult for them to operate after that - when you bring in a new driver you have to take on a completely different mindset in how you run the car.
"Force India's emergence was one of the success stories of the season. They've now got a settled design team and they can build on this car for next year."
MEET THE BOSS - VIJAY MALLYA
Can you explain your team's philosophy in three words?
Dynamic, professional, Indian.
Why do Force India race?
This team is a thoroughbred, professional race team. From its days as Jordan Grand Prix to the Spyker Formula One Team I bought, the drive is to win.
Now we carry the hopes of an entire nation with us - we have to race and succeed, it is a point of national pride.
FORCE INDIA FACTS AND STATS
Nationality: Indian and British
Headquarters Silverstone (UK)
Debut season 2008
Test driver: Vitantonio Liuzzi
Team principal: Vijay Mallya
Technical director: James Key
Engine: Mercedes-Benz V8
Highest Grand Prix finish: 2th
2008 position: 10th
Constructors' titles: 0
What is special about Force India?
I hope that we are a refreshing change. We are always hard-working and endeavour to do our best, but we try to have fun at the same time. F1 is glamorous, it's exciting, it's fun - why shouldn't we show this?
What is the team's status in Formula One?
I don't think I can comment on my own status. I would like to think, however, that people see the huge opportunities that this team has and presents, both on a commercial and on a sporting level.
What is the team's image?
Young, upcoming and dynamic challengers!
Why should people support Force India?
There are many different reasons, regardless of your nationality.
We are underdogs at the moment, with perhaps the smallest resources but, as we showed in Monaco last year, we have the courage, tenacity and spirit to surprise and succeed.
And when that happens, as we all hope it will this year, it shakes things up, it's unexpected - and surprise is what makes the racing exciting.
If your team were an animal what would it be?
An Indian tiger!
What does a team boss do?
I think it's more like what don't we do! The buck stops with us, so it is ultimately our responsibility to make sure that individual departments are functioning effectively and the whole team works in unison.
That said, however, I firmly believe in giving individuals the tools and the responsibility for their own work. I make sure the overall picture is clear.
What is the most difficult thing about being a team boss?
There are many difficulties in running an F1 team. It's a finely-balanced machine and getting just that right balance can be hard.
We learnt a lot of lessons in our debut season and I hope we can build on this understanding this year.
Are you worried about the future of F1?
Clearly one has to be concerned about what is happening in the world today.
Honda's withdrawal was not a shock to me as I could well imagine that on one hand, with global sales and profits under pressure, the first thing that any independent board member would say is: "What are you doing with a Formula 1 team?"
I don't think that we will reach such a drastic or severe situation that F1 will cease to exist - both the governing body, the FIA, and teams' association Fota are already taking action to make it more attractive for existing teams and for new teams to enter in future.
There are teams out there who want F1 to continue and be as successful as it has been before, but what we need to do is cut the coat to suit the cloth and make sure the costs of running a team in F1 and competing in the world championship are brought down considerably.