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Force India Formula One : Poised for 2011 season

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Vijay Mallya had one aim for his formula one team, he wanted to bring his team to a level that would ensure a podium finish for the team at the first Indian Grand Prix and quite frankly they are almost there. Mr. Vijay Mallya has not run the Force India F1 team as a side business but like a sport entity should be run, with passion, determination and ofcourse force. He also has the distinction of being one of the few people with top level categories for them :) .

This is just a small article showcasing how the team looks for the 2011 season, the team calls its 2011 challenger the VJM04.

The VJM04 Unleashed–Force India’s 2011 challenger !

vjm04-testing-pits

The team seems all charged up for the 2011 season, while poster boy Adrian Sutil was retained for the 2011 season as primary driver, Nico Hulkenberg will be the reserve driver and Brit blood (Scottish for some :P ) Paula Di Resta has come into the team as the secondary driver. Vitantonio Liuzzi is out of the team (surprised ? ).

force india f1 drivers sutil hulkenberg and resta

Testing has been proceeding well for the team and Adrian Sutil seemed happy with the recently concluded testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Adrian’s comments after the test were :

Adrian Sutil
A very productive day in general for us. We made some good progress with the balance and we’ve now got a basic set-up that feels smooth and easy to drive. I also got a run on the supersoft tyres, which we didn’t manage to do yesterday. Of course we also put the KERS on the car. It ran reliably and allowed us to complete the full test programme: very promising for this point in testing. It’s still early days for the system but we have got ourselves into a good rhythm and can feed this back into the factory to get some more performance for the next test.

Dominic Harlow, circuit engineering director also added his thoughts :

A good final day’s testing concentrating on KERS set-up, reliability and also some aero tests that remained on our program. Adrian also looked at some ride height sweeps and a few procedural checks. It’s been a productive four days for the team and overall the car seems to be performing reliably and according to expectations in all the major areas.

The comments are very much in contrast with those of the McLaren pair of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. In other news, Martin Whitmarsh has issued a whip to the  various drivers taking gripes at the new F1 tyre suppliers Pirelli.

“Being a tire supplier is a thankless task,” Martin Whitmarsh said.

“The quick deterioration is a characteristic, requested by the teams and organization, to improve the show.”

Images : Force India F1 Media

Monaco Grand Prix : Force India drivers do fashion show, charity football and visit the Indian Empress Yacht courtesy Vijay Mallya

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The Force India formula one team is known to be glamorous and when you have team boss Vijay Mallya in town and the city is Monaco, its a recipe for a lot of non-racing action. The Force India divers were kept busy all through the weekend by the team doing a variety of things :

1. Fashion Show : Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi started the week with a fashion show, here are some photos from the event :

Force India Fashion Show Adrian sutil (2)Force India Fashion Show Vitantonio Liuzzi

2. Charity Football : Later on they participated in a charity football match which is a signature of the Monaco Grand Prix, more photos :

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Sebastien Vettel wins the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix , Red Bull 1-2 with Mercedes GP completing the podium

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Nico Rosberg 3rd malaysian grand prix 2010

Apologies for no photo of the winning driver, apparently Red Bull’s media department is not approving our application to use their photos for editorial purposes.

Red Bull really did give Sebastien Vettel and Mark Webber wings with the duo grabbing a 1-2 at the 2010 formula one Malaysian Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg was third for the Mercedes GP formula one team (erstwhile Brawn GP) while his teammate Michael Schumacher was unlucky yet again as a nut came off his car’s wheel and he was forced to retire. Before that Michael Schumacher in a strong start had made up 2 places.

Sebastien Vettel proved that if you are good enough and if you drive good enough, victory will come and luck factor will diminish. After 2 unlucky races, Malaysia proved to be third time lucky.

Lewis Hamilton was another the start performer of the day though, the Briton made his way up from 20th on the grid to sixth place. His teammate Jenson Button was 8th at the finish line.

Meanwhile Spaniard and Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso called the Malaysian Grand Prix the toughest race of his life. He suffered a gearbox problem and apparently no clutch in the race.

“Right from the start things went wrong. On the formation lap, my gearbox broke, and I had no clutch during the race,” Fernando Alonso said.

“So I had to brake in a weird way. I had to first gear down and then push the throttle hard so it would engage the gear for that corner.

“So it was probably the hardest race of my whole life in terms of driving, because I had to improvise for every corner.

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Brawn GP goes Last to First : Jenson Button claims pole position

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Timo Glock Toyota Rear Wing 2009 Australian Grand Prix

Toyota had their rear wings marked illegal by F1 Stewards due to too much flexibility

Who in their right minds would have bet their money on Brawn GP, a team which until a few weeks ago didnt exist, the erstwhile Honda team whose fate was uncertain after a disastrous season and on Jenson Button who has often been called just another British driver and has been thoroughly overshadowed by McLaren’s own Brit Lewis Hamilton.

Wee this Saturday at Melbourne was not the place to make informed guesses and preditctions, because things didnt go as expected. The McLarens and the Ferraris werent the forces to be reckoned with, but it was the Brawn GP car of Jenson Button which took the pole position. And as if that wasnt enough, forgotten Brazillian driver and Jenson Button’s teammate at Brawn GP Rubens Barrichello was 2nd and will accompany Button in the front row.

Sebastien Vettel was a cool third in his Red Bull Racing car. While Robert Kubica (whom i had considered a favorite) was only 4th fastest. The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Raikkonen were 7th and 9th respectively. The McLarens were even more pathetic in 15th and 16th place with world champion Lewis Hamilton 16th.

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Heiki Kovalainen takes pole, Webber second at British Grand Prix

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heiki kovalainen kimi Raikonen at British Grand Prix 2008

It was a day of surprises at the Silverstone, Heiki Kovalainen took pole position at the Silverstone track, while Mark Webber took a surprising second place. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was third in his scarlet Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton could only manage a dismal 4th place and was almost 8/10 of a second slower than the pole position man Heiki Kovalainen.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was unlucky as Ferrari were unable to send him out for another run when there was a problem changing one of his tyres.

Kovalainen was very excited with his maiden pole, he said

“It’s not going to be easy tomorrow, but my pace has been good all week, and I am confident our strategy will be a strong one as well. The target is to win the Grand Prix.

“It was quite difficult conditions. At the start of the final session, the wind picked up and I was all over the place. But it went much better on the second run.”

The difference in times of Webber and Coulthard seems to suggest a lighter fuel load for the top 2 cars on the grid. Kimi Raikkonen was also pleased with his time after the Friday practice session yesterday:

“Compared to yesterday it has been much better”

“Yesterday was very difficult, we have put in quite a lot of effort to try to sort my car out.

“We are not exactly where we want to be, but qualifying has never been my strongest point, and nobody knows how much fuel everyone is running.”  Kimi Raikkonen said

Force India F1 team had another disappointing session, Vijay Mallya’s outfit again brought up the back of the grid with Adrian Sutil outshining teammate Giancarlo Fisichella. Their so called ‘new aerodynamic package’ seems to be a big flop.

Qualifying Times for the formula one British Grand Prix 2008

1. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.049 seconds
2. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:21.554
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:21.706
4. Lewis Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.835
5. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:21.873
6. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:22.029
7. Nelson Piquet (Bra) Renault 1:22.491
8. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:23.251
9. Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:23.305
10. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber no time
11. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull-Renault 1:20.174
12. Timo Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:20.274
13. Sebastien Bourdais (Fra) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:20.531
14. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:20.601
15. Kazuki Nakajima (Jap) Williams-Toyota 1:21.112
16. Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Honda 1:21.512
17. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:21.631
18. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Toyota 1:21.668
19. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India-Ferrari 1:21.786
20. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Force India-Ferrari 1:21.885

Image Copyright : Ferrari Media