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Force India secures best ever finish in Formula 1 constructors’ championship
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Nico Hulkenberg
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  16 Nov 2015   |  1:12 pm GMT  |  76 comments

The Force India team is “delighted” at securing fifth place in the constructors’ championship, the highest finish the team has ever achieved in its eight-year history in Formula 1, according to deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

Nico Hulkenberg’s sixth place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix means the team is now on 120 points and cannot be overhauled by Lotus or Toro Rosso, the teams that currently sit sixth and seventh in the constructors’ points table. It also improves on the team’s previous highest championship position of sixth, which it achieved in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Bob Fernley

Speaking after the race in Interlagos, Fernley said: “Everybody in the team is delighted that we have secured fifth place in the championship with a race to spare.

“It’s the reward for all the hard work put in by everyone back at the factory in Silverstone, at the wind tunnel, and here at the track. We have been through a lot this year, but we never let our target out of our sight and today we can celebrate.”

The bulk of Force India’s points have been scored since the team introduced a B-spec car at the British Grand Prix back in July. Since then, the squad has racked up 89 points, of which 55 have come courtesy of Sergio Perez and 34 from Hulkenberg.

Nico Hulkenberg

As well as being the team’s best ever championship result, Force India are also set to gain financially as fifth place means it will receive $63m in F1 prize money.

Force India also maintains its position on the F1 strategy group just two months after it jointly launched a complaint to the EU, alongside Sauber, relating to the way the sport is run.

There is also speculation that the squad could be rebranded as Aston Martin for the 2016 season with team boss Vijay Mallya recently admitting that he would be willing to change the team’s name as the Force India moniker had served its marketing purpose for Indian motorsport. As part of that potential deal, alcohol conglomerate Diageo is in discussions with Mallya to unravel some of their drinks business activities, which could see Johnnie Walker sponsorship appear on the car next season.

The new funding would boost the team’s chances of making a further step up to go on and challenge Williams in 2016.

Mallya said: “I could have easily named [Force India] Mallya F1 or Kingfisher F1 or whatever.

“I said Force India because I wanted to fulfil aspirations of all the motorsport enthusiasts in India who never could have even dreamed there would be an Indian F1 team on the grid.

“That was the objective and I’ve fulfilled that objective. We’ve fulfilled the objective over eight years.”

Vijay Mallya

After his run to sixth at Interlagos, Hulkenberg also praised the team’s progress in 2015 and was delighted with the aggressive strategy it employed to help him move in front of Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull in the race.

He said: “I’m very happy with sixth place and with scoring the points that helped the team secure fifth place in the championship, which is great news. It’s the best result in our history and shows the progress we have made over the years.

“This fifth place is a result of all the hard work from everybody in the team and we should feel very proud of what we have achieved together.

“The race today was fun, although I didn’t have the best start and got some wheel spin, which dropped me behind Bottas and Kvyat. Fortunately I was able to get one of those places back with an aggressive early pit stop, but that forced me to do two very long stints on the medium tyres, which was the main challenge of the day.”

XPB.cc Sergio Perez

Perez, who scored the team’s best result of the season with third place at the Russian Grand Prix, explained that he struggled with the set-up of his car before the race in Sao Paulo, where he could finished 12th, only the second time he has been out of the points since the Belgian Grand Prix.

He said: “It hasn’t been the best of weekends for me. I have struggled to feel comfortable with the car from the start and I feel I didn’t go in the right direction with the set-up yesterday

“Today’s result, however, should take nothing away from what has been a great championship so far. The team has now finished fifth, so there are a lot of positives to celebrate.

“I am proud of what we achieved together this season and I am looking forward to aiming even higher in the future.”

Sergio Perez

What have you made of Force India in 2016? Will the team improve further next season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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1

They were fun to watch this year, congrats to them.

3

Brilliant news for Force India. They have a great driver line up and I’ve been impressed by the team for years.

4

James, if Aston Martin took over the branding would they race under a British licence or still be classed as an Indian team. It would be pretty controversial in the unlikely event that Aston Martin won a race only for the Indian national anthem to play for the constructor!

5

Congratulations to Force India. Solid work with limited budget year after year.

6

The photograph of the Force India looming behind the McLaren is telling, along with the Diageo reference in the body of the piece. Diageo is one of MCLAREN’s major sponsors, down to the Johnny Walker branding.

How does McLaren replace that revenue? Does it mean that they have a big sponsor already lined up? Or does it mean someone – Honda – buys into the team?

In any case, for me that’s the point of the story: FI not only beats McLaren on merit over the season, but gets at least a chunk off of a major McLaren sponsor. Hard times in Woking.

7

We’ve fulfilled the objective of having India in F1 actually translates into: they’re trowing a huge amount of money my way!

Im not judging, I’d do the same if I was in his shows…

8

Good for them! F1 needs these kinds of teams and I hope whatever comes in the future doesn’t drive out teams such as Force India.

9

Well I’ve always had a soft spot for Force India, and I’m glad they have managed to secure fifth place. I do wonder if they will be able to retain it in 2016 with Haas coming in, and Manor getting the Mercedes power unit.

10
Abdul Rehman Jajja

Best spirited team yet! No pay drivers, Those wings and finns on they put on spiker were the real warning

11

Im pretty sure Peres brings a lot f money from Carlos Slim…

12

As Jordan, the team won races and was third in the 1999 WCC, but credit to Bob Fearnley and his squad, the team has managed its relatively limited resources to accomplish much over the last few seasons. All the best to them.

13

6.5 out of 10 to Kimi?, why not 1.0?. I’m still astonished why he keeps being re-signed.

Kudos to Force India and whatever’s left from the cool Jordan F1. As mentioned in some other comment, they were lucky also given the paranormal McLaren-Honda disaster.

A bit off-Topic, and leaving for a Minute how good or bad the last races were, to me it felt like old times fresh air to see the crowds, cheering, and Motorsport knowledge from America (and I mean Mexico and Brazil :)). Switching gears to empty, boring, Abu Dhabi now is a downer, AKA back to Bernie’s present global Business view of F1. For the 100th time, Argentina seem to be in talks via Gastaldi also to bring back F1 there. Hopefully, more European races could come in, and even South Africa, and replace all the current calendar non-sense (no names, though should be pretty obvious what to discard).

14

It is an absolute fact these rock hard Pirelli tyres hinder smoother drivers like Raikkonen and Button more than others. Give them more mechanical grip and their driving styles won’t be as compromised.

Next year may be a different story with softer rubber.

15

Rock hard tires???. You probably missed the bridgestone era…same alledged golden era of this same finn.

Overrated 2nd tier driver. Also top rally one 🙂

16

@Lola F1

“6.5 out of 10 to Kimi?, why not 1.0?. I’m still astonished why he keeps being re-signed.”

Four words – Formula One World Champion.

17

@DomJones

I agree that Kimi’s gaining of the WDC comes with caveats mostly lost to history, and that I don’t feel worth reminding people about.

However, Ferarri’s policy is to “have a World Champion in the car.”

That is really all I was stating. Their policy is to have a WDC. Kimi is a WDC. Button and Hamilton are unavailable for 2016; they already have Vettel; Alonso has burned bridges; so in case Vettel starts throwing his weight around as four time WDC, as his two-time predecessor did last year, Ferarri’s insurance is to have the only remaining WDC on the grid, Kimi, in the seat.

All other contenders, Bottas, etc., might be looked upon favourably, but we is not a WDC, and Kimi trumps him.

Now, what I have said would be concrete if Luca Montezemolo was still there.

As he is not, I honestly do not know if the team’s historical “WDC in car” rule will stand for much longer.

18

Torchwood Five: “Four words – Formula One World Champion.” — Yes he is a world champion, but he won because Massa let him through in the final race, otherwise he would have finished third in the championship. If Massa had been racing and not playing the team game, Kimi wouldn’t have won it. If a driver from another team had been ahead of Kimi, he woudn’t have won it. Plus that rubbish with Lewis in the last two races of 2007 . . . . Lewis should have walked that title.

I’ve been a big fan of Kimi since 2002, I think he’s a great driver, but for all the hype, he could very easily have won no championships at all. Plus his absolute trouncing by Alonso and Vettel. And he even got beaten by Massa in 2008!

He has had his moments but I think overall he has been overrated.

19

Kimi will probably finish 4th behind Vettel in the championship. This is where he is expected to finish.

His form may dramatically improve next year given they can just select the soft tyres every race.

20

Dozen Words….

They already have a 4 time world champion on the other seat.

How Alonso humiliated him completely last year, should leave no doubts. Specially since Alonso is having not such a nice time vs. Button.

21

Two words – Past It

22
Abdul Rehman Jajja

You aint seeing $£€ teams earning from Gulf and asian branding

23

Well done Force India on 5th Place in WCC championship. Maybe they will shake and stir the opposition next year if they become Aston Martin F1.

James and readers I also have a few off topic questions about Abu Dhabi and the race there.

1 Do you think we will ever have a wet race in Abu Dhabi during the time their GP is on F1’s schedule?

2 Does anyone know the last time it rained in Abu Dhabi? Can you ask a local person James when you are there?

3 Is the Yas Marina Circuit to much of stop start circuit in you view to promote really good racing ?

4 Will Ferrari be even closer to Mercedes in Abu Dhabi than Brazil given that soft and super-soft tyres will be used as in Singapore?

5 Who will win the Battle of the Finns in the Drivers Championship?

and on Kimi’s overall season performance.

James and readers what would you give him out of 10 for this season ?-i’d give him a 6.5 out 10

24

Ferrari are pretty good in slow speed corners and it’s a track Williams probably won’t excel at so I expect Kimi to edge Bottas to 4th.

25

We had rain last weekend!

But statistically its pretty unlikely.

26

C63, can you believe the hypocrisy?! This is hilarious to me. On basis of marketing strategy, the bait and switch of look at us compete with hybrid in F1, but really sell you a V8 that’s green in our dreams only, we really are thin on reasons not to go back to a proper V10 in F1. I mean, F1 running around on a recycle IndyCar engine – seriously? Like hand me down tech from IndyCar? F1 needs to be the king of open wheel, not eat IndyCar leftovers. But back to that C63, now really a C40, but why would Mercedes be truthful about the number that until 2015 represented displacement?

>

The new C63 AMG uses a similar 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 to the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car. Mercedes offers it with two outputs: 469 hp and 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) of torque for the C63 and 503 hp and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque for the more potent C63 S. By moving to the downsized and turbocharged engine, Mercedes claims the W205 version consumes 32 percent less fuel than the model it replaced.But in fact, it uses 50% more fuel than advertised.

27

Seebee,

The whole premise of turbo motors is that they produce more power from smaller displacement engines. THAT means that as a driver I have a choice – I can baby the throttle and get the advantages of a smaller engine in terms of fuel economy, or FLOOR THE F-ER and get power. The variability of fuel economy is thus MUCH greater than on a normally aspirated engine. So why on earth are you surprised that idiots driving with heavy right feet greatly exceed the “official” measurements?

There is no “insidious plot”. There is no “false measurements”. It’s just simple engineering that a turbo that is not using it’s turbo much will generate much, much better economy than a driver that is flogging it. And of course any company measuring it’s “official mileage” is going to optimize it using very gentle acceleration…as truthful as most marketing claims. Overall, turbo engines still produce better mileage for most people than non-turbo engines…

28

I well understood what you were saying in your original post but thanks for elaborating. Everything I had to say about your reply to my post has already been said by TimW above.

Increasingly, your baseless posts and attacks are rather narrowly targeted towards Mercedes with unsubstantiated claims. I wonder if it has anything to do with your favourite team/driver not winning because they’re unable to catch up with the manufacturer who did a great job with the regulations and others were caught napping. Everyone was given the same set of rules and one of them cracked the code. It is difficult to see any basis whatsoever to criticise Mercedes if they are using this success to advertise products that make them money.

29

Just like Red Bull, have you totally lost the plot or what! Like…what are you even on about?

30

Yeah PB, I skip a few steps.

See, the whole Mercedes AMG engine thing made me laugh because here is Mercedes driving F1 into the ground with technology the world doesn’t really care about that they’ve designed for marketing purposes, meanwhile they sell the market V8s and V12s with it that they claim are more fuel efficient than they really are.

Than from that whole funny AMG engine business, I was thinking – clearly this isn’t good for F1, and I’m glad that we’re heading toward a new cost effective engine, but should that engine be sloppy seconds after IndyCar? Should F1 be driving around with an engine based on a “lower formula” open wheel series? What’s the setup here? To join IndyCar and F1 thanks to basically same engine?

Hence the next logical step is, that if we’re drifting away from hybrid fakeness, we should drift toward extreme power and what F1 engines have been all about the last 20 years – before these PUs were thrust upon us.

Hey PB, can I get a J? As in PB&J?

32

Sebee, the new C63 is faster and more powerful than the one it replaces, and still uses less fuel. I’m sure noone would be disappointed. Mercedes sell some fuel efficient cars, and Renault sell some cars that aren’t, just like most manufacturers, except Ferrari who get a pass from you despite only selling V12s and V8s! I still think this whole thing from you has more to do with your general dis like of Mercedes than any genuine outrage at their none mainstream AMG models, and I think that shoe horning it into an article about Force India is still a strange thing to do..

33

TimW, look, to stretch it out a bit is OK. To stretch it out by 2.3L like the 2015 C63 is too much. Any lady would be disappointed by the size difference advertised on the back of the car and what’s actually under the hood.

Regarding fuel, it is across the entire C class, entire E class that he tests were done. Let’s also get real, AMG is driven harder likely, and thus fuel economy suffers. The reason I whiz on Mercedes and not others is because AMG cars are about performance, are V8, V12, etc. and are clearly not about fuel economy. To claim fuel economy is hypercritical. To be here in F1 with this engine that had the might of Mercedes resources fully thrown behind it to buy the significant advantage and then with that hybrid V6 to try and sell these AMG cars that have misleading fuel figures by 50% in real life use is pathetic. Just calling a spade a spade. I never said others weren’t claiming such advantage in these test. But Renault is not dumping V8s and V12s out there into mainstream in volume, are they? They have rather economic main stream product and I’m not ever aware of Renault having V8 or V12 engine offering in their cars. They certainly aren’t using these fake hybrid engines to sell V8 or V12 AMG cars. They are using F1 to sell Cleos and other rather economical cars. They get a pass on that alone.

34

Sebee, no the 525 is a 2 litre, as is the 528! The 535 is a 3 litre etc etc etc. check it for yourself. I found the article you referred to, I notice with interest that you have no problem with some Renault’s using over 40% more fuel than advertised, or indeed Toyota, BMW, Peugeot or VW, instead just an attack on Mercedes, I wonder why this is? You also used this rather thin article as proof that Mercedes claims about the new C63 model being more efficient than the one it replaced are untrue. This is what I meant when I mentioned you being selective, it says no such thing! It doesn’t mention the C63 at all, it just talks about the entire E class range, it says nothing about the relative fuel economy figures for the old and new model C63, and says nothing to support your rant in any way.

35

And as for your BMW 525 example, it’s a 5 series running a 2.5L – perfectly true to name. 2015 C63 is running a 4L, that’s like BMW calling a 2L turbo version a 550. Not even close! A whole engine’s worth of displacement is missing there.

36

TimW, google “Some Mercedes, BMW and Peugeot models consuming around 50% more fuel than official results, new study reveals” I can’t post the link for you here.

37

Sebee, the link between Mercedes road cars and their F1 team is tenuous, the link between Force India and a Mercedes E class is none existent, so no this is not really the place is it? Any response to the other points I raised?

P.S i would say that Force India have secured 5th place partly because of the excellent reliability and power of their Merc PU, hardly a pile of junk!

38

Well, it is Mercedes, they are in F1, winning WDCs, apparently here to showcase their high tech, and FI is getting 5th thanks to this overly complex pile of hybrid junk, so they are absolutely fair game to discuss here. And this is the place to discuss it.

39

3, C63 now just means the model, a bit like a BMW 525 with a 2 litre engine. Does it really matter?

I would say in closing Sebee that this post would be better placed on the Autocar forum as it deals entirely with road cars, or at least on an article actually about Mercedes, as the Force India link is tenuous at best.

40

2, where are you getting all this fuel economy stuff from? I have learned that you can be a bit selective when it comes to cherry picking facts, so post a link and I will read it properly. I would say that all manufacturers fuel economy figures are inaccurate as they are set in a lab, they are only for “comparison” !

41

1, Merc do sell V8s, I thought you liked those! The manufacturer who threatened to leave F1 if the turbo engines were not introduced was Renault, can I expect a similar hatchet job on them?

42

My posts keep vanishing so will split my response up,

43

…5th place.

44

Let’s recap.

1. They come to F1 and insist on Hybrid, while selling huge numbers of V8s.

2. They reduce displacement and turbofy to claim fuel savings, only to be debunked.

3. They call a 4.0L a 63, when the 63 reference was in relation to the size of the engine in past. (Unless you want to tell C63 that 6.3 inches is really just 4.0 inches that is!)

Lot’s of valid points there TimW. Not sure why the “?” Oh you mean, how does this relate to FI and their 4th place? They do run Mercedes PU, don’t they?

Considering that we have this formula in F1 to be “green” and “road relevant” and “save fuel” you didn’t find that last part funny? You know, this part –> Mercedes claims the W205 version consumes 32 percent less fuel than the model it replaced. But in fact, it uses 50% more fuel than advertised.

45

It will be very interesting to know how many points per Euro each team has achieved. And maybe to have the ration between driver salary and points earned by the driver. I believe McLaren is the most expensive team by far in that regards.

What is the business case for McLaren to break even given the spend they made this season? Let’s say, If they finish third next season, will they be receiving enough money to pay this year driver salaries and operational spend?

Going back to Force India, what do you think they will need in 2016 in order to mantain their 5th position?

46

Sorry, but points per dollar spent is a totally meaningless metric.

Its a highly non-linear relationship at the top end.

47

But it would be fun to see who’s spending a lot for not much return

48

Good post, I’d love to see a points per spend table. I think it would make very interesting reading.

49

@ mes…it would be meaningless insofar as the variables affecting a result are infinite.

50

Well Done Force India (soon to be Aston Martin F1?l

51

Aston would be a great name to bring to F1. And johnie Walker would be a steal from MacClaren would it not.

When yo think about it , Force India is a terrible name. On par with Brawn, which always conjured up images of shavers and hair dryers.

52

Joe Saward must be delighted… err…

53

5-star comment!!! 🙂

JS is an experienced and objective F1 journo, but he certainly has a blind-spot when it comes to VJ Mallya…

54

I tried to ask him about his mallya issues..but he never seems to reveal it…according to him mallya gets zero credit for FI performance over the years…he says they have really good people in there…but whatever that might be…you gotta give it to him that always kept two fast drivers in his team!

James what do you think? Does Mallya deserve any credit for FI resurgence over the years from being backmarkers to a solid midfield team?

55

What?!?!? According to Joe, Mallya sold the team about 5 years ago….!

57

Have I missed something?

58

Comment of the day.

That being said it doesn’t take much to wind up JS really does it…

59

FI, Lotus, anyone who ever has a different opinion to him, any other website with F1 content…. It’s all the same really. ????

60

Yes Joe S is also a great journo though when it comes to Fi and Lotus he really has it in for them!

61

Credit to Mallya, he’s come in for a lot of flak over the years (justifiably, some of it) but he’s certainly achieved a lot with Force India. From being virtually moribund at the end of the Midland/Spyker years, it’s become a regular points scorer and occasional podium finisher, and brought a little of the Jordan glory days back to Silverstone. While the relative underperformance of Lotus and McLaren have helped them out this season, they’ve earned that 5th place, mixing it with Red Bull and Williams on occasion. Well done to them.

Hulkenberg has been unlucky with car problems and the odd incident this season but has had a year to remember with that Le Mans win. And Perez continues to quietly go about his business very effectively. It’s easy to see Verstappen and Sainz, or Magnussen and Vandoorne as ‘the future’ but at Force India there are two drivers very much deserving of a run in a top team (OK, Perez had one, but he deserved better than to be chucked after one year).

62

I have always been impressed by their refusal to take pay drivers over talent, it would have been much easier for them to run Maldonado and Ericsson, but they have the best two drivers available. Good stuff from one of the lowest budget teams.

63

Perez brings a very healthy dose of sponsorship but yes I take your point. Their driver line up is excellent.

65

without dissing on Findia i find it rather a stretch of the imagination for mallya to say that he put an ‘indian’ team on the F1 map? apart from mallya are there any other indians actually in the team and if so are they responsible for putting the team into 5th place? some of the operating capital may have its origins in india but from what i have observed that and mallya is about it.

66

He could have said: yeah it was intended to have as much Indian staff as possible and even two Indian drivers, but in the end, we failed to do that ……..

OR he could have said what he said.

Its nicer to call it a done project than calling it a failure. Not that I think or know it is …. just thought it is a possible way to look at things.

67

@Kenneth

Hope you don’t mind me asking, but is F the only capital letter which works on your keyboard 🙂

68

@ c63…….no, the ‘c’ works as well hahaha

69

Mercedes F1 team factories are in Brackley and Brixworth, and most of their staff are Brits. I think it doesn’t matter too much the staff or driver, but the racing license for Force India is Indian, so they are an Indian team in my books.

Well done to them on securing 5th, I 100% back all the small teams making progress on the grid.

70

@ hluliz….i was under the impression that the FIA granted team entries for each season and that permit/license whatever to race would be granted to the corporate entity making the application. if that entity is a british registered company then the team is, for all intents and purposes a british team with an indian national as principal/owner. if you have a different version then i would like to know all about it.

71

Maybe he looks at it that way because he’s Indian and the team was started with Indian backing. Maybe.

I don’t think it matters too much personally, we’re all just people. [Mod].

As for Force India, they’ve done (and said) a lot of things I don’t agree with but I’m happy for their two drivers (both of whom I like) and all the hard working folk (whatever nationality) back in the factory.

[While there was nothing particularly offensive about was included earlier in this post, there are other places where those views should be discussed. Let’s stick to F1 here. Mod]

72

@ mes..’.there are other places etc etc etc’ what are going on about? is Findia an indian team? is the Findia team registered in india? i don’t know but to claim that findia is an indian team was what i questioned. it’s no big deal just a comment. ever heard of freedom of expression?

73

You’re right Kenneth, just like all the other teams, they are mostly staffed by Brits.

74

force india used to be spiker, which was on its way out until the indian national took it over single handedly. he has since invited so many other parties into the team and got rid of the dead wood to ensure success. why would he call the team force India if it wasn’t intended to put india on the map? i don’t know of a single person of responsibility in force India except malya. and i know his nationality too.

all teams have different nationals in them but malya is the reason that team is in f1 and has moved from the back of the grid into mid field.

75

Octavio, ok maybe Ferrari aren’t mostly staffed by Brits, but they are there and in some senior positions too!

76

What about Ferrari?

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