Sahara Force India F1 Team Team Principal Vijay Mallya said he’s hoping for something special to mark their 200th race in Formula 1 at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Having bought former team Spyker in 2008 and rebranded as Force India, Mallya’s team’s first race was the 2008 Australian Grand Prix, with drivers Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella. Since then Force India have been a firm fan favourite of the midfield, and a springboard for some drivers. Whilst they struggled in their first season, finishing level-last on no points with Super Aguri, they’ve gone from strength to strength in the top tier – working their way up to a Constructors’ Championship best of fourth in 2016 and 2017.
Though they’re yet to take their first race win, the team has taken a total of 1,015 points, six podiums, five fastest laps and one pole position (Fisichella at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix) in their ten-year tenure. Whilst this might be a relatively short history compared to current competitors on the grid, they have more races under their belt than Haas F1 Team (49) and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport.
Commenting on this historic milestone for the Silverstone-based team, Mallya said that the battle for the midfield is incredibly close, and the team need to focus on working hard to capture it.
“After a challenging weekend in France we hope that Austria will bring better fortunes. It’s our 200th race weekend and it would be nice to celebrate the milestone with a special result. It’s been a long journey since 2008 and I’m very proud of the results we have achieved, especially in 2016 and 2017. It’s an incredibly busy time of the season with four races in five weeks and the fight in the middle of the grid remains very close. We will keep working hard to be at the front of the midfield as the season progresses.”