Force India hits the century

By on Friday, June 7, 2013

Force India will take part in their 100th Formula 1 race this weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix. Having been purchased by Vijay Mallya and Michel Mol at the end of 2007, Spyker was renamed to Force India and the team made their debut at the 2008 Australian Grand Prix. After a difficult start, Force India has established themselves as a midfield runner and currently sit in fifth place in the championship following their best start to a season. Five drivers - Adrian Sutil, Giancarlo Fisichella, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg - have participated in a race for the Silverstone based squad. Here’s a look back at five of their most memorable moments as they approach the century.

Monaco 2008: Sutil stars in moist Monaco

Adrian Sutil and Force India go hand-in-hand: The German has raced 79 times for Force India with a best finish of fourth, but he and the team first made their mark in Monaco five years ago. After a race full of attrition, Sutil found himself in fourth place with a handful of laps remaining. Behind the German was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and the Finn lost control on a wet patch under braking for the Nouvelle Chicane, taking Sutil out of the race. There were tears from Sutil, although he was set to face a time penalty for overtaking under yellow flags.

Belgium 2009: Fabulous Fisichella secures podium

After the 2009 summer break, Force India had still failed to score a point, despite coming agonisingly close on several occasions. But the team was confident ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps and that optimism was duly rewarded when Giancarlo Fisichella stunned everyone by securing pole position. The Italian followed up his qualifying pace by storming to second place, narrowly losing out to Raikkonen. Despite missing the race win, it was cause for celebration for Force India.

Italy 2009: Sutil shares the front row

After Fisichella’s heroics put Sutil in the shade in Belgium, the German responded a week later in Italy. Sutil qualified on the front row while new team-mate Tonio Liuzzi, who was drafted in after Fisichella’s Ferrari switch, was seventh. Sutil put in a strong race to finish in fourth, while Liuzzi also ran towards the front of the field but was forced to retire with a mechanical issue. Sutil also qualified strongly in Brazil but was wiped out on the opening lap by Jarno Trulli. The incident was memorable for the Italian's confrontation with Sutil, not only trackside but in the press conference two weeks later in Abu Dhabi.

Brazil 2011: Sutil bows out – for now

Force India established themselves as a midfield outfit in 2010 but finished one place higher in 2011 as they ended up in sixth place. Rookie Paul di Resta put in some strong performances and although Sutil outscored him, it was the German who was replaced for 2012. With an uncertain future and a court case hanging over him, Sutil put in a storming performance to finish in sixth place.

Brazil 2012: Hulkenberg leads the way at Interlagos

Sahara Force India

At a tense season finale, Nico Hulkenberg elected to stay out on Intermediate tyres on a worsening track, having started in seventh and moved up after opening lap clashes. The circuit dried and Hulkenberg passed Jenson Button for the race lead, with the duo opening up a minute’s advantage over third place. The safety car wiped out their lead but Hulkenberg continued up front. He half-spun, handing the lead to Hamilton, but possessed enough speed to attempt to re-take the lead. He misjudged his braking and slid into the McLaren. After a drive through penalty, Hulkenberg dropped to fifth. Team-mate Paul di Resta suffered an enormous accident at the final corner, resulting in the race – and the season – ending behind the safety car.


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