A brief history of the Force India F1 team, including the team's origins, past drivers and its racing record in the F1 world championship
Force India officially made its first appearance on the Formula One grid in Australia in 2008, but its roots in the sport go much deeper than that suggests.
The team's charismatic owner, billionaire Indian businessman Dr Vijay Mallya, created Force India from assets purchased from the Spyker car group which had in turn bought what had originally been Jordan Grand Prix, a team that had been racing in Grand Prix events since 1991.
As well as the hardware, Mallya also picked up the services of Colin Kolles as team principal and Mike Gascoyne as chief technology officer, although both left at the end of the first year and Mallya himself took over as principal. Initially James Key served as technical director and oversaw a transition from Ferrari to Mercedes engine power before he left to join Sauber in 2010, after which Andrew Green took over the post at Force India.
Another holdover from Spyker was German driver Adrian Sutil, who proved to be Force India's main driver over its first four years. The first two of those were a serious uphill struggle - Sutil retired from 17 of the 35 races in 2008 and 2009. Initially his team mate was the experienced Giancarlo Fisichella, who claimed the team's first points finish with second place at Spa-Franchorchamps in 2009 - to this date, still the team's best-ever result. Sutil himself quickly followed that up by scooping up more points for fourth place in the next round at Monza.
Points soon became a regular feature of Force India's weekends after that. Sutil was joined by Vitantonio Liuzzi in 2010 and then by Paul di Resta in 2011, the team growing into a generally reliable performer earning points in more races than not and finishing the year consistently around sixth or seventh place, although unfortunately still not quite able to break through the glass ceiling into the upper echelons of the Formula One fraternity.
Sutil spent a year out of the sport in 2012 after being charged with assaulting Lotus F1 team boss Eric Lux in a nightclub in Shanghai the previous year. His seat that season went instead to compatriot Nico Hülkenberg, but Force India remained loyal to Sutil and brought him back to the line-up alongside di Resta in 2013. Despite another solid season, the decision was taken to completely refresh the line-up for 2014 with Hülkenberg now partnered with Sergio Perez who had recently been released from a struggling McLaren.
Partly thanks to McLaren's own ongoing woes, 2015 delivered fifth place for Force India, well ahead of the likes of Lotus, Toro Rosso and Sauber. 2016 proved to be even better, with Force India taking 4th place in the constructors championship after Sergio Perez secured a podium in Baku and Monaco as well as consistent points finishes for both drivers.