Racing Point Force India
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|Full name||SportPesa Racing Point |
Formula One Team
|Team principal(s)||Otmar Szafnauer|
(Team Principal & CEO)
|Previous name||Sahara Force India|
|Next name||SportPesa Racing Point F1|
|Formula One World Championship career|
|First entry||2018 Belgian Grand Prix|
|Last entry||2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix|
The team was formed in August 2018 when a consortium of investors which included André Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman, John D. Idol, John McCaw Jr., Michael de Picciotto and Silas Chou named Racing Point UK Ltd. and led by Lawrence Stroll, the father of former Williams driver Lance Stroll, purchased the assets of the then-existing Sahara Force India F1 team. The team made its competitive debut at the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix. Lance Stroll is set to move to the team for 2019.
The team's origins stemmed from the Jordan Grand Prix team, which entered Formula One racing in 1991 based at the Silverstone racing circuit. Jordan enjoyed many years in Formula One, winning four races and achieving third place in the 1999 Constructors' Championship. However, like many of the smaller teams in the 2000s, financial problems meant the team's performance dried up, and team owner Eddie Jordan sold the team to the Midland Group in early 2005.
Spyker F1 scored a point in 2007 and briefly led the European Grand Prix; despite this, the team once again hit financing issues, and was sold on to Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, then-chairman of the United Breweries Group, and Michiel Mol, Spyker's Formula One Director. The team, bought for €88 million, was renamed Force India F1 for the 2008 season, and retained team principal Colin Kolles, Chief Technology Officer Mike Gascoyne, and driver Adrian Sutil.
During late July 2018, Force India was put under administration. Its assets were purchased by a consortium of investors, named Racing Point UK Ltd. and led by Lawrence Stroll. The consortium created a new constructor with the assets and entered the sport prior to the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, taking the vacated entry of the original Force India team.
In December 2018, the FIA's first release of the 2019 Formula One World Championship entry list confirmed that Racing Point intended to drop the Force India name, and would contest the 2019 championship as Racing Point F1 Team.
In the build-up to the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, the team was unsure if they would be able to race as the consortium that bought Force India had to get the approval of 13 Indian banks that had financial claims on the team. The full approval arrived after the deadline, so the consortium purchased the old team's assets rather than buy the team itself. The newly-formed team then had to apply for participation in the Formula One World Championship under a new name, thus the adding of "Racing Point" to the team's name. The FIA excluded the former Force India entry from the championship "due to its inability to complete the season", and welcomed the new entity (Racing Point Force India F1 Team) that was able to race in the Belgian Grand Prix, but was not allowed to retain any points of the old team. The drivers, however, were able to keep their points in the Drivers' Championship. Under a special agreement, and with unanimous approval of the nine other teams, the new team was allowed to keep the prize money the old team had earned in the preceding years under the Sahara Force India name.
At the Belgian Grand Prix, Force India achieved 3rd and 4th place during a qualifying which was hit by rain during the final part. In the race they managed 5th and 6th place, thereby collecting 18 points allowing them to take the 9th place in the Constructors' Championship at the conclusion of their first Grand Prix. They finished the next race in Italy in 6th and 7th, therefore jumping to 7th in the Constructors' Championship, ahead of Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams. The Singapore Grand Prix was a disaster for the team with no points finishing as Sergio Pérez collided with his team mate Esteban Ocon on the opening lap. Ocon retired instantly before Pérez collided with Sergey Sirotkin and finished the race 16th. Racing Point Force India collected 52 points in total in the 2018 season and finished the season in 7th, 4 points ahead of Sauber and 7 points behind McLaren.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)
|2018||VJM11||Mercedes M09 EQ Power+ 1.6 V6 t||P||AUS||BHR||CHN||AZE||ESP||MON||CAN||FRA||AUT||GBR||GER||HUN||BEL||ITA||SIN||RUS||JPN||USA||MEX||BRA||ABU||52||7th|
- "Racing Point UK Limited acquires Force India Formula One Team | Force India F1". www.forceindiaf1.com. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
- "Lance Stroll's father agrees Force India takeover deal to save all 405 jobs". independent.co.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- "Midland sells MF1 Racing to Spyker". grandprix.com. Inside F1, Inc. 9 September 2006. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "Spyker considers selling F1 team". Haymarket Publications. 14 August 2007. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
- "Mallya and Mol set for Spyker takeover". formula1.com. Formula One Administration Ltd. 3 September 2007. Retrieved 9 July 2010.
- "Spyker change name to Force India". BBC Sport. 24 October 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2007.
- Cooper, Adam (24 August 2018). "How the FIA used little-known Formula 1 rules to save Force India". Autosport. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
- "Force India to be renamed Racing Point for 2019". ESPN. 1 December 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- "FIA allows new entry to save Force India – Speedcafe". speedcafe.com. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- Adam Cooper. "Rival Formula 1 teams allow Force India to keep prize money". Autosport.
- Beer, Matt (26 August 2018). "Force India F1 driver Ocon needed 'one metre' to lead Belgian GP". Autosport. Motorsport Network.