Vijay Mallya Force India’s timeline: Spyker F1 to Sahara Force India F1 team, here is liquor baron’s Formula 1 team’s journey

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Published: July 31, 2018 9:10:19 PM

Vijay Mallya's co-owned Force India Formula One team is expected to go through administration changes within weeks as part of a planned restructuring process with new investment.

Vijay Mallya. (PTI)

Vijay Mallya’s co-owned Force India Formula One team is expected to go through administration changes within weeks as part of a planned restructuring process with new investment. The team’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer on Friday at the Hungarian Grand Prix told reporters, “Within a week, or at the most two, our financial future will become more clear and, I believe, much more secure,” according to AFP report.

The team, owned by Mallya was listed for a Companies Court winding-up hearing at London’s High Court on Wednesday this week. The liquor baron owes more than Rs 9,000 crore to various banks and had fled India on March 2, 2016. In January, an Indian court ordered a consortium of lenders to start the process of recovering the loans.

Multiple courts in India have issued warrants against Mallya in various cases over the past two years.

Here is a timeline of Vijay Mallya’s Force India Formula One team’s journey:

2007: Vijay Mallya and Dutch businessman Michiel Mol bought Spyker F1 team for €90 million in October 2007. The team was as Force India Formula One Team Limited which competed as Sahara Force India F1 Team. It is a Silverstone-based formula one team with an Indian licence.

2008: After retaining Adrian Sutil in the first season, Force India conducted winter tests for the second driver and testing roles. Former Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella was chosen for the race seat, and Vitantonio Liuzzi grabbed the reserve role.

2009: The Formula One team won their first world championship points and secured a place when Fishichella finished second in the Belgian Grand Prix.

2010: The team tested JR Hilderbrand and Paul di Resta, with the latter setting a much faster time. Di Resta on February 2, 2010, was confirmed as the team’s driver. On February 9, 2010, Force India unveiled their new car, the VJM03, which was to be used in the 2010 season.

Luizzi finished ninth in Bahrain. Adrian Sutil qualified in tenth. In Australia, he qualified in the top ten, with Liuzzi qualifying thirteenth. Liuzzi finished the race in seventh, while Sutil retired with an engine problem.

2011: On January 26, 2011, the team announced that di Resta who was a reserve driver would be promoted to a race seat for the 2011 season and will partner Adrian Sutil. The team launched their new car, the VJM04 on 8 February 2011 via an online launch.

2012: di Resta was retained for the 2012 season and replaced Adrian Sutil with their 2011 reserve driver Nico Hülkenberg. However, later on, Jules Bianchi was later named as the team’s reserve driver. The team’s car, the VJM05, was launched at Silverstone on 3 February.

The Force India crew tried to pull out of the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix due to a revolution against the regime and the death of a protester. However, after the team’s refusal to take to the circuit, there was a confrontation between F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone and the Force India team.

2013: In 2013- di Resta featured for the third successive year. The season also witnessed Sutil making a return replacing Nico Hülkenberg as the team’s second driver. The team’s new car, the VJM06 was launched on 1 February 2013 at the team’s base near the Silverstone Circuit. At the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, Sutil finished seventh, while di Resta finished eighth, giving the team their best ever start to a season.

2016: Force India retained Hülkenberg and Perez for a third successive season. It was the most successful season in the team’s history after finishing fourth, in the Constructors’ Championship with 173 points.

2017: In 2017, Hülkenberg left Force India to join Renault. The VJM10 brought a change to a pink livery, following a new sponsorship deal with BWT.

2018: In this season the team retained the 2017 line up of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon. In the opening race of the season in Australia, Perez and Ocon finished 11th and 12th respectively.

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