2010 marks the third year of competition in the FIA Formula One World Championship for the Force India F1 Team. After a positive finish to 2009, the team is hoping this season will be the one that firmly establishes it as a strong, competitive outfit regularly challenging for points and podiums whenever possible.
Consistency has been the key this year: Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi are retained as drivers and the team's technical package is an evolution of last year's increasingly competitive car. Paul di Resta, from Scotland, strengthens the driver line-up as test and reserve driver. Paul will participate in some free practice sessions this year, although not Bahrain as the race drivers will need to learn the new track configuration.
Over winter testing the team fared well, completing 12 days of testing and more than 4,000km and is now looking forward to the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal:
What are your thoughts ahead of what could be a crucial season for Force India? "We finished 2009 on a real high note - our first-ever points, a podium and one place up in the constructors' championship. That is enough in itself to set the bar much higher this season, but we're really determined to take it to the next level. Regular points and the odd podium have got to be the aim and we know it is possible. I have a lot of faith in the drivers and the technical staff, I think we've got into a very good rhythm together now."
Have you been encouraged by the performance over the winter? "I have been very encouraged by the entire performance, both at the track and at the factory. The testing times gave very positive headlines, but it is very difficult to know where we are until we get to Bahrain. Certainly however the initial reports from the drivers are encouraging and when that happens it's worth another three to four tenths - if they feel happy and confident in the car then that they can really attack."
What is it that has made the difference this year for Force India? "The key point was that last year we had a good baseline car and we improved throughout the year in a very structured manner. In the second part of the season we were very successful - at times we even had a potential winning car - and with that in mind we went into the winter and developed this foundation as much as possible. That stability is crucial and we have been able to focus 100% on emphasising the strong points while addressing the weaker areas. I think Mark [Smith] and his team have done an excellent job."Source Force India