Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Force India F1

Formula 1 Racing has always been fast, exciting and full of surprises. I got hooked into this sport for the last 5 years and have been closely following it. I'm writing this post today because a very exciting thing has happened recently to F1 racing in India. This has created a lot of interest among individuals and motosport fans.
A man called Dr. Vijay Mallya has bought the Spykar F1 for a whopping sum of € 88 million. Dr. Mallya is the owner of United Beverages, maker of Kingfisher Beer. He also owns Kisgfisher airlines and also has a stake in Deccan airlines. An Indian billionaire? Oh yes of course. He may be called a desi version of Richard Branson. Yeah he has got the style no doubt. But billionaire he may be, but I still wonder why he bought a F1 team which was ranked last in the last years' constructors' championship! Well, he has the money, he has the power. His closeness with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone might have resulted in buying of a formula one team. Also, it can be noted that Bernie has reportedly been interested in holding a Formula One race in India within 2010. This could be a major stepping stone for motosport in India.
Now let us come down to the details of this team. The logo of the team has been decided probably by Mallya himself. Colin Kolles will remain as the team principal for the 2008 season. Michael Mol is the director and Mike Gascoyne as the Chief Technology Officer. Force India has a contract with Adrian Sutil as one of its drivers. Mallya has reportedly been pleased with Sutil (huh!) and has confirmed his position as a driver in the team. The second seat has not yet been fixed. A few drivers have been approached like Christian Klien, Vitantonnio Liuzzi and former Spyker test drivers Giedo van der Garde and Roldan Rodriguez. As far as taking Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan is concerned, Mallya has reportedly told that Force India would not necessarily have an Indian driver. News has it that another Indian driver Karun Chandhok has been roped in by Red Bull F1 team for their testing position. This could be a turning point in rookie Chandhok's career as a potential F1 driver. As far as Narain Karthikeyan's career is concerned, he might just remain as test driver for Williams F1 this time too. Please note that Narain raced as a driver for Jordan F1 in 2005, before being bought by Midland in 2006 and subsequently by Spyker F1 in 2007. Narain was thrown out of Midland for suposed lack of fund support from his advertisers. That was when he took the 2nd test driver position of Williams. He never got a chance to drive a F1 race again. Let us see if he gets to drive again in future. As far as Karun Chandhok's future is concerned, he might get a driver's position in 2009 in Red Bull F1.
Let us go back to Force India team. Will this team get a higher position in championship rankings or will it remain last as every year? One can only speculate this. A lot of money was spent buying this team, Mallya may not be interested in wasting much money in research and development of the cars.
As far as other teams are concerned, Michael Schumacher has reportedly taken a test driver position in Ferrari. But he has dismissed reports of having a comeback after retiring from F1 in 2006. This year, electronic gadgets, equipments have been banned. So, Schumacher has been roped in, given his experience for more than a decade in F1. I'll continue posting on F1 in future... Till then, have a nice time. Good Bye.