Tag Archives: Force India

Formula One: Remaining Tyre allocation & possible race Strategy – Austrian GP

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 23.01.32.png

The 2016 Austrian Grand Prix is set to be a thrill tomorrow with a mixed up grid, alternate qualifying strategies and limited dry running across the board. Due to the differing data available from Friday and today, a number of opportunities are open and it is quite difficult to predict the best strategy for tomorrow. The drivers with two sets of soft tyres available have a big potential advantage. A two-stop strategy looks to be the winning one. Using the data from Saturday, two different types of two-stopper appear to be best: start on supersoft, change to soft on lap 16, and soft again on lap 44 is the optimal strategy. If starting on ultrasoft, a change to soft by lap 10 and then soft again by lap 40 looks to be just a few seconds slower.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director:Austria has certainly proved to be a very unpredictable event so far, and lap times before the shower that fell in Q3 were up to two seconds faster than the times in each equivalent session from 2015. Both in terms of weather and events on the track, so we can expect this unpredictable theme to continue tomorrow. We’re anticipating two stops tomorrow and reasonably short stints on the ultrasoft, which are of course designed to provide the ultimate performance but at the expense of durability. We saw tyre strategy underway during qualifying, with Ferrari and Red Bull running the supersoft in Q2, which will give them the opportunity to run a longer first stint tomorrow. The final shoot-out was all about finding the right window of opportunity for the slick tyres to perform at their best on a drying track.”

Taking a look below the a diverse range of strategy can be expected through the race. Current forecasts suggest dry conditions for the race, but with mixed conditions throughout the weekend to date teams will have to be prepared for every eventuality.

Jenson Button will be keen to capitalise on an incredible 3rd on the grid, with both Mercedes and Force India have struggled off the grid in earlier races this year could we see a Mclaren leading into T1 for the first time since Brazil 2012?

Screen Shot 2016-07-02 at 22.42.08.png

Formula One: Catching up with Giancarlo Fisichella

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 00.26.05.png

Giancarlo Fisichella, the last Italian driver to see the podium of an F1 race back in 2009 in a spectacular Belgian Grand Prix with saw him finish second for Force India. The race will be remembered not only for a questionable move Kimi Räikkönen pulled on Fisichella to take the win, but also as a race in which Giancarlo was all but announced as a Ferrari driver for the following event before the race had even finished!

It must be the dream of every Italian in motorsport to get the call from the Scuderia. With Ferrari suffering a torrid 2009, struggling with regulation changes and working with reserve drivers following the terrifying accident for Felipe Massa in Hungary. The prospect of an Italian podium finisher making his début for the team at the Italian Grand Prix was exactly the good news story the team needed.  Giancarlo leapt at the chance to join the team despite being fully aware his 2009 prospects would be minimal. His mind has possibly already moved on from Formula One. After 14 years in the sport he was ready for a new challenge. Joining the Ferrari family was exactly that.

In this film from Mobil One The Grid we catch up with Giancarlo Fisichella and his life after Formula One.

For a real-time view of Giancarlo Fisichella’s life with Ferrari, he is currently in 2nd position in the GTE-Pro class in his Ferrari 488 at the Le Mans 24hrs.

Formula One: VIDEO – Canadian Grand Prix Top Tips

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 21.01.17.png

The Canadian Grand Prix, the 7th round of the 2016 Formula One World Championship, has all the makings of a potential classic. With mixed weather conditions forecast, a resurgent Lewis Hamilton, an angry Daniel Ricciardo, and power unit upgrades for most teams, this weekend’s racing is definitely worth getting excited about.

I’ve tried something a little (cringe-worthy) different for this weekend’ preview. Please let me know what you think in the comments section on here or You Tube. Don’t forget if you do think any of what I’m saying makes sense, head to William Hill for some of the best odds available on Formula One.

Lewis Hamilton

In earlier pre-race tips I’ve tried to avoid the obvious bet, but this weekend barring mechanical failure Lewis Hamilton looks very likely to be in a strong position to seal his 45th win. The odds being offered are not great for the customer, but at 6/5 you stand to make a return of 2.2 for every 1 (of which ever currency you use) you put down. Lewis would be a ‘safe’ bet for the weekend.

In addition to the high likely hood of a win, Lewis has to be a strong contender for the triple around Montreal. Setting Pole, plus taking fastest lap and the win. Odds of 11/2 are being offered on this. Lewis has a special relationship with the Canadian GP circuit. He took his first win in 2007 there and seems to be able to find that extra bit of performance when he needs it.

Weather

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 21.18.07.png

Forecast predict that the Canadian Grand Prix is likely to be impacted by rain, an increasingly common feature of previews to Grand Prix weekends! Should rain hit the circuit, which at the moment it is forecast to do for Sunday only, focus, as in Monaco, should shift to the experienced drivers in the mid field. Again I would look toward Force India with odds of a win for Nico Hulkenberg being offered at 100/1 and Sergio Perez at 150/1. Whilst a win is unlikely, you can take an each way split on the bet and get 1/5 odds for a podium finish.

Red Bull Racing

I predict a tense weekend for the Red Bull duo. Daniel Ricciardo feels he’s been ‘screwed out’ of two race wins by the team. Max Verstappen had a shocker of a weekend in Monaco any other driver would be worried for their seat after such a performance. With both drivers receiving the upgraded Renault Power Unit they should be in the fight, I predict real hero – zero action from both the drivers. Look at a win or first retirement for either.

Daniel Ricciardo Win – 7/1 | first to retire – 25/1

Max Verstappen Win 12/1 | first to retire 22/1

Mclaren 

I have a feeling Mclaren could be in for a very strong weekend. Honda are bringing upgrades to the Power Unit, both Alonso and Button thrive in mixed conditions, the team are rebuilding in confidence. If the rain comes on Sunday, I would take a look at a long shot Each way bet on the drivers making the top step. Alonso is currently offered at 200/1 and Button 250/1.

It is a longshot, but who can forget Jenson’s incredible 2011 win. He knows how to win in Canada.

Strategy

Strategy options for the Canadian Grand Prix look likely to be something of a non starter. The Ultra soft Pirelli tyre is lasting much longer than many anticipated. the longevity of the tyre makes a one stop strategy pretty much inevitable for all teams. One possibility to look out for could be opportunities arising from an early safety car which could see drivers switch to the Soft (Yellow) compound tyre with a view of completing the entire race distance on a single set of tyres.

History suggests a safety car around Montreal is highly likely. As such the odds available are 1/3.

Power Units

Renault, Ferrari, and Honda, are catching Mercedes… … Quickly. With upgrades from all manufacturers expected over the Canadian Grand Prix, the teams most likely to shuffle back are the customers. Expect the performance gap between ‘Works’ and ‘Customer’ teams to start to increase as the season progresses.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 09.16.40

Formula One: Nikita Mazepin brings Uralchem to Force India

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 21.01.45.png
16 Year old Russian,  Nikita Mazepin, has joined the Force India Formula One Team in a development driver capacity for 2016. The driver will take up this role whilst participating in the Formula 3 Euro Series with Hi-Tech Racing.
Nikita Mazepin: “It’s an incredible feeling to join Sahara Force India. It’s the biggest step in my career and I want to thank Vijay and everyone in the team for giving me this opportunity. I’m still young and I have a lot to learn, so the guidance and experience of Sahara Force India is really important for my development. My goal is to race in Formula One in the future and today’s news takes me closer to achieving that objective. I will work hard to help the team and do everything I can to improve my skills on and off the track.”
Nikita brings Uralchem support to the team, branding of which can be seen on the nose cone of the VJM09 (pictured).
 
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Nikita to begin his Formula One apprenticeship and become fully embedded inside our team. We have a strong track record of identifying and nurturing young talent and it is clear that Nikita is already a very capable and determined racer. 2016 will provide the perfect opportunity to showcase his abilities and develop the skills needed to become a Formula One driver. We plan to use him extensively on our new simulator and he will also support our in-season testing programme, which will play an important role in the development of the VJM09. It’s also exciting for the team to begin working with a young Russian driver given the success of the Russian Grand Prix in recent years. It’s a market with huge potential for Formula One and the emergence of young talents, such as Nikita, will ensure interest in the sport continues to grow rapidly.”

Formula One: Force India report further losses

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 20.55.10.png

The Force India Formula One team have reported a £6.8M loss in their 2015 submission of accounts to Companies House. Whilst on the face of the loss appears significant the situation is a significant improvement compared to the teams position in 2014 in which a loss of £15.4M was reported.

It should be noted that Formula One Management (FOM)  prize funds are paid out based on Constructors Championship performance in the previous year, as such with Force India finishing  a best ever 5th in the 2015 Constructors Championship they can expect a far healthy balance sheet in the 2016 submission of accounts.

The team took the opportunity of their accounts submission to emphasis a dependency on FOM  revenue and sponsorship, a business model teams such as Williams and Mclaren have sought to move away from in recent years through creating B2B partnerships and developing new applications for technology advances first seen in Formula One.

Team headcount has increased from 376 to 382 from 2014 -2015 with the growth being seen in both the production and design team.

Force India have highlighted the importance the development and retention of  partners such as Hype, Quakerstate, Skull Candy, and Interprotection, and go on to provide details of a loan issued to the team from sponsor America Movil of £470K, which was presumably required following a request to FOM for early release of prize funds. Accounts confirm the United Breweries provided £2.4 in sponsorship revenue to the team in 2015.

The report also confirms that payments of £1,9M were made to key management personnel through the year. The report does not and would not be expected to make any comment around any change in shareholding for the team.

The complete report can be seen here through the team’s annual submission of accounts to  Companies House.

Formula One: Five Top Tips for the Spanish Grand Prix

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 11.59.05.png

Formula One heads to Spain this weekend for the first European round of the 2016 Formula One World Championship. The layout of the circuit does not typically lend itself to the most dynamic racing, but with changes in the Red Bull driver line up, an under pressure Lewis Hamilton and the prospect of rain influencing the weekend, the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix looks set to be a thriller!

Here are my top tips to look out for ahead of the weekend:

Red Bull four way fight

With the dramatic change in driver line up at the Red Bull camp following the Russian Grand Prix in Daniil Kvyat returning to Scuderia Toro Rosso and Max Verstappen stepping up to the Red Bull Racing Team, the pressure and expectation to perform will be greater than ever. Daniel Ricciardo will be keen to assert his position as team lead with Red Bull Racing and Carlos Sainz will be fighting to ensure he does not become the forgotten man of the Red Bull driver line up.

The technical nature of the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya should suit the aerodynamically efficient RB12. Red Bull Racing should expect to challenge Scuderia Ferrari over the weekend. Both Daniel and Max should be targeting a podium finish.

In pre-season testing around the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, Scuderia Toro Rosso looked to be the only team close to challenging Mercedes. Whilst this pace has not carried into the season the team should be targeting a healthy points haul for the weekend. Both drivers should be considered for a points finish.

That being said, the pressures of the Red Bull driver programme have proved telling for Daniil Kvyat so far in 2016. Management believe they have released this pressure in placing him back in the junior team, but this may serve to heighten the pressure. With this in mind It may be worth looking to Kvyat for first retirement of the race. Currently offered at 20/1

Lewis vs Nico – Triple Accolade

The Russian Grand Prix saw Nico Rosberg secure his first ever triple crown over a race weekend, setting pole, fastest lap, and securing the win. Lewis Hamilton will be seeking to not only beat Nico this weekend but also look to gain a physiological advantage in taking the triple crown. Realistically the performance advantage of the Mercedes AMG Petronas team is such that only Nico & Lewis can look duke it out for this accolade. Odds of 10/3 and 7/2 respectively are on offer.

Manor Racing to score points?

The Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya played host to all 8 days of pre-season testing for the 2016 Formula One World Championship. The Manor Racing team were a surprise of testing posting consistent lap times capable of challenging the top teams. Whilst it should be noted budget restrictions limit the pace of development for Manor Racing when compared to other teams, this could be the weekend in which the team finally get points on the board. Rio Haryanto is making good progress in settling into the car and is starting to challenge his team mate Pascal Wehrlein for pace, currently at 50/1 and 20/1 respectively for a points finish both drivers deserve some consideration.

Weather watch out

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 10.27.42

Long range forecasting predict that rain may be seen over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend on both Friday and Sunday. Whilst it might be a little early in the week to place a great deal of faith in weather forecasts for the weekend, should teams see rain interruptions over free practice (Friday) they may struggle to optimise set up for the weekend which will lead to a closer midfield. Rain on race day could have a much greater impact on performance, mitigating certain shortcomings in a car, acting as an equaliser on the field where driver key plays a greater role than the capability of the car. In these conditions points position finishes become much more of a lottery. I would look consider a look at points finish odds with teams such as Force India with their experienced driver line up and if you are feeling brave possibly a podium

Monaco momentum

In the build up to the Spanish Grand Prix Paddy Lowe Technical Director at Mercedes AMG Petronas referenced the common saying in Formula One that

“if you’re quick around Barcelona, you’ll be quick everywhere”

The blend of high and low speed corners, coupled with a number of sizable straights give indications of what teams can expect at circuits through the season. Performances at the Spanish Grand Prix, if dry, should be a measure of expectations for the season. That is with the exception of Monaco.

The tight and twisty low speed nature of the streets of Monaco have very little in common with other circuits on the F1 calendar.  That being said, if you are looking for an early tip of teams or drivers to look out for around the streets of the principality check out sector times in final sector of a lap around the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. The high number of low speed corners in close succession is similar to what teams can expect in Monaco. I expect to see Mclaren Honda perform well in this sector and may be worth considering as a long shot podium finish at the principality.

Formula One: Felio Siby joins Force India

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 17.43.54.png

Sahara Force India have announced a new partnership with  Felio Siby, which sees the luxury brand become the team’s official lifestyle partner. The Felio Siby logo will appear on the VJM09’s nose starting at this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix.

A purveyor of some of the best leathers in the world, manufactured to the highest standards in a time-honoured way, Felio Siby is a reference for customers whose way of life is to find timeless and unique products. This is a vision that has now been extended to watch-making, as the brand embarks on a new venture with the best Swiss watchmakers to redefine the industry.

To celebrate the start of the partnership, Felio Siby will design a special edition Sahara Force India timepiece, due to be launched at next month’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director of Sahara Force India: “A luxury watch-maker and a Formula One team are a perfect match: both pursue excellence, have absolute attention to detail and work to produce awe-inspiring machines through the wonder of human ingenuity. We are delighted to welcome Felio Siby to our family and we are looking forward to sharing the successes of a long and fruitful partnership.”

Dominique Siby, CEO of Felio Siby: “Today is a day with great emotional significance for me, being the ten-year anniversary of my father’s passing. Working with a Formula One team was a project we always wanted to do together. I dreamed of being part of this sport since I was a child, watching the timeless battles between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. I am glad and thankful to be a partner of Sahara Force India: the team is the perfect match for Felio Siby and I can’t wait to show the world the unique watches we will be making for them.”

Formula One: Perez ‘I want to get my season started properly’

 Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Day - Sakhir, Bahrain
Force India preview the Chinese Grand Prix
Sergio on China
Sergio Perez hopes for a change of fortunes in Shanghai.
 
Sergio: “I’ve always enjoyed going to China. Shanghai is an interesting city to explore and you always get huge support from the fans. They always wait outside our hotel every day just to say hello and give us special gifts.
 
“They did a great job with the track design in Shanghai because there is a good mix of corners. Turn one is what everybody talks about and it’s my favourite part of the lap. It’s such an unusual corner and you have to judge your speed perfectly because you can lose a lot of time if you don’t attack it enough. Then, on the back straight, we always see lots of drag races and it’s a question of who will brake latest going into the hairpin.
 
“After two disappointing races I want to get my season started properly in Shanghai. The results in Australia and Bahrain could have been so much better, but things just didn’t work out for me. That’s part of racing and I know things will turn around soon. It was a similar situation as the start of last year before my luck started to change. The atmosphere in the team is still upbeat and everybody is pushing to get more performance from the car. We made a good step in Bahrain with the upgrades so we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
 
Nico on China
Nico Hulkenberg aims to realise the potential of the VJM09 this weekend.
 
Nico: “When I think of the race in Shanghai I always remember the impressive towers on the main straight and the cool paddock buildings by the lake. It’s definitely a circuit with a special character and its own personality. The city of Shanghai is also a cool place to visit and I enjoy trying real Chinese food and exploring such a different culture. I’m always fascinated by big cities and feeling the buzz of the place.
 
“The track is also famous for the never-ending turn one. It’s a tricky corner because it’s easy to go in too hot, especially during qualifying, and it’s a corner that eats your tyres. In fact, looking after the tyres is always hard work because turn 13 is another long right-hander that takes even more life out of them. The rest of the lap has a bit of everything from low-speed to high-speed, which makes it challenging to find a balanced set-up.
 
“My expectations for this weekend are high and, after the disappointment of Bahrain, I hope we can have a clean race in China. There’s good pace in the car and reaching Q3 in Bahrain was proof of that. We had to work very hard with the car set-up to find the sweet spot, but we learned a lot of things that will carry over into this weekend.”
 
Vijay Mallya
Team Principal, Vijay Mallya, reflects on the opening couple of races ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.
 
Vijay, the team was out of luck in Bahrain, but there were some positives…
“Bahrain was a missed opportunity. Two front wing changes in the space of two laps put us on the back foot and prevented us from playing a part in the outcome of the race. It’s disappointing because we know the car has the speed to be right up there fighting for points. So that’s the positive we must focus on as we prepare for the upcoming races.”
 
What can we expect this weekend in China?
“It feels as though we’ve yet to unleash our true potential this season. Both the races so far have been heavily compromised, either by our own mistakes or outside circumstances, so I’d like to see what we can achieve with a clean, trouble-free race to the flag. When things go to plan, we know we can compete well inside the top ten and I expect everyone in the team to be pushing hard to reverse our recent fortunes.”
 
Did you enjoy watching the close midfield battle in Bahrain?
“The battle in the middle of the pack is too close to call this season and it means that there’s even more pressure on teams and drivers to deliver, especially in qualifying. It’s going to be very exciting for the fans and that is what we want to see in Formula One.”
 

Formula One: Perez “The racing is never boring in Bahrain”

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 11.59.43.png

Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Vijay Mallya preview the Bahrain Grand Prix:

Sergio on Bahrain
Sergio Perez is determined to shine again under the lights in Bahrain.
 
Sergio: “Australia didn’t bring the result I was hoping for so I am targeting a better outcome from Bahrain. Getting a bad start really compromised my race last time out because I got stuck in the middle of cars on different strategies and I couldn’t recover. However, it’s a long season and I have an opportunity to get back in the points in Bahrain.
 
“The racing is never boring in Bahrain so fans should enjoy some good entertainment. There are long straights and sharp braking zones so it’s great for overtaking, but the big tractions zones make this a tough track for the rear tyres. I think tyre degradation will be a key factor in the outcome of this race. The track evolves a lot as the race goes on, as the cars sweep away all the sand and dust that the wind has blown onto the track.
 
“I have some very good memories from Bahrain – the race in 2014 was just fantastic when I celebrated my first podium with the team. I am confident we can be strong again this year and get back all the points I missed in Australia. Even in Melbourne, there were lots of positives we can build on, such as our strong qualifying speed and race pace. The team is doing a great job back at the factory and we should have some interesting new bits on the car, too, so I am feeling confident.”
Nico on Bahrain
Nico Hulkenberg hopes to build on solid start to the season with more points in Bahrain.
 
Nico: “We’ve started the season in the right way by getting some points on the board, even though we had the potential to come away from Australia with many more. The red flag came out at the worst possible moment for our strategy and that cost us some positions, but we still managed to fight back and come away with an important seventh place: I am happy with that.
 
“Next up is Bahrain, which is a special place. As a circuit, it’s very different to Melbourne: it’s not bumpy at all; it’s very smooth and it’s full of slow corners. There are a several overtaking spots and the whole track, with long straights and big braking zones, makes for some great wheel-to-wheel racing. It’s a track that rewards attacking, so hopefully we will see lots of action in the race. And of course, it’s a night race so the atmosphere of the whole event is very different!
 
“One of my favourite things about Bahrain is the paddock. It looks like it’s straight out of ‘One Thousand and One Nights’, with the lights and buildings all adding to the atmosphere. It’s one of my favourite events of the season. We will arrive there in a good place and we have the potential to get another strong result.”
Vijay Mallya, Team Principal
Vijay Mallya expects another strong performance in Bahrain this weekend.
 
Vijay, did the team’s performance in Melbourne live up to expectations?
“After a race like Melbourne you always come away wondering what might have happened without the red flag, but I think we left Australia with our fair share of points. We had a mix of good and bad fortune, but I think that’s true for quite a few teams. Ahead of the season I said the team’s goal was to qualify and race in the top ten at every race, and we certainly achieved that in Melbourne.”
 
Were there any surprises?
“I think that the winter tests had already given us a good indication of what to expect. What is clear is that the grid is more competitive and closer together than it has ever been in the recent past. There are four or five teams who are all performing at a similar level, which made for a tight squabble in qualifying and the race. That can only be good for the fans; it’s what the sport needs and I think Melbourne showed that it’s the middle of the grid where most of the entertainment is being generated in terms of wheel-to-wheel racing.”
 
What can we expect from Bahrain?
“On paper Bahrain should be a strong track for us so I’m optimistic we can deliver a similar level of performance to that which we showed in Melbourne. We will have some new aerodynamic developments, which will add some performance to the front of the car, so we will work hard to optimise those during the weekend.”
 

Formula One: Alfonso granted Free Practice Only Super Licence

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 13.51.37.png

The Force India Formula One Team have confirmed that Alfonso Celis will participate in the first free practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

This announcement comes despite Alfonso having not yet achieved the required performance related results in junior categories to be granted a full FIA Super License. Upon querying how the team have come to this agreement, this writer was referred to Appendix L of the FIA International Sporting Code, in which it states:

5.2 Qualifications for Free Practice Only Super Licence

5.2.1 The driver must be the holder of a current FIA International Grade A licence.

5.2.2 The driver must be the holder of a valid driving licence when he applies for a Free Practice Only Super Licence for the first time.

5.2.3 The driver must be at least 18 years old at the start of the event of his first F1 race weekend.

5.2.4 a)The rest time he applies for a Free Practice Only Super Licence, the driver must successfully complete a question session regarding the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations.

b) For all successive Free Practice Only Super Licence requests, the F1 team concerned has to certify, through the F1 Super Licence application form, that they have held a briefing with their driver about the most important points of the International Sporting Code and of the F1 Sporting Regulations.

5.2.5 The driver must be judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars. The F1 team concerned must show that the applicant has driven at least 300 km in a representative Formula One car(1) consistently at racing speeds, over a maximum period of 2 days, completed not more than 180 days prior to the application and certified by the ASN of the country in which the test took place.

5.2.6 The driver will be on probation for a period of 12 months, during which the Free Practice Only Super Licence will be held provisionally and subject to review at any time.

This work around for drivers to participate in Free Practice without the required results to take part in a race allows teams to maintain a revenue stream from ‘pay drivers’ which may have otherwise been shut down. It can be expected other teams will take advantage of this regulation through the season.

This license does not replace any requirements for a full racing super licence. As such Alfonso Celis would not be permitted to act as a reserve driver for the Force India F1 Team.

To download the sporting code appendix in full  click here.