The British Grand Prix later this week will mark the mid-point of Force India's debut Formula One World Championship season. It's an appropriate place for the team to reach this milestone given the Silverstone Circuit, where the race is held, is...
The British Grand Prix later this week will mark the mid-point of Force India's debut Formula One World Championship season. It's an appropriate place for the team to reach this milestone given the Silverstone Circuit, where the race is held, is right opposite Force India's HQ.
As such, the British Grand Prix is seen by many as the team's 'home' race. Although preparations continue as normal, with the cars re-built at the factory and then taken on a transporter over to the circuit, it does make the event a special one for the team and their families.
Following a solid French Grand Prix Force India will be looking to move forward at Silverstone. At a three-day test at the same circuit last week, the team debuted a major new aero and mechanical package comprising new sidepods, bargeboards, diffuser, front wing, engine cover, inerter damper and further suspension modifications. With the developments looking positive, the team has every hope of an improved finish in the ninth round of the 18-round series.
Dr. Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director
'The British Grand Prix will be a special race for the Force India Formula One Team. With the history and heritage of this team and its location just opposite the main gates of the circuit, it's obviously considered by the team as its home race.
'In the past, when this team was Jordan Grand Prix, there was a real buzz whenever it came to Silverstone. The fans supported it, the media enjoyed it and the atmosphere in the factory was by all accounts electric. This team now really needs to remember those days and try and recapture some of the spirit. We're moving forward, that's for sure, and step by step improving, but I really want everyone to feel proud of where we are and what we have achieved. It's this race in particular that really fires everyone up, let's put this energy into a great performance in front of our 'home' crowd.'
Colin Kolles, team principal
'For sure we all look forward to this race as it's just across from the factory so family and friends can come more than they can to another race. We also have a lot of information about the track from being on its doorstep, so it does feel very familiar, but we don't approach it any differently to any other event on the calendar. We ultimately have the same aims we always have.
'The French Grand Prix clearly showed the steps forward we have made in reliability, with our first two car finish since the Bahrain Grand Prix, but now we need to be able to race competitively and finish ahead of people.
'From a performance point of view, we have a significant new aero and mechanical upgrade package we will use at Silverstone for the first time that I expect to move us closer to the field.'
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer
'At the mid point of the season I think we are fairly much where we expected to be. We are competitive in race conditions and are able to fight with the group in front. We've also had some good showings, with Monaco as a particular high point with Adrian.
'We have also tried to sustain a cycle of development to improve performance throughout the season and have moved forward compared to where we were last year, but unfortunately Formula One is so competitive this year that we've not been able to show this progress in our results.
'After a productive test at Silverstone, we're looking forward to the British Grand Prix this week. We tested our new aero and mechanical configuration over the three days and received very positive feedback from all three drivers. There was more grip and downforce in general over one lap, and all reported an increased stability under braking.
'It was unfortunate we lost some running time on Wednesday with Giancarlo's accident, but the team was able to get the car repaired and we managed pretty much to catch up with the schedule and I'm confident we won't see any knock-on effects this weekend.'
Driver quotes Giancarlo Fisichella
'I'm motivated to do well in Britain now we've got a solid finish under our belts at the last race in France. I've always enjoyed and done well at Silverstone. Even though it's not a particularly distinctive track it's very technical so you need a good driving rhythm, good pace, good balance and constant levels of grip. I also like the atmosphere there as the fans are very enthusiastic, particularly for any British team.
'We'll be introducing our new aero package for this race. We tested it at Silverstone last week and although my day of testing was pretty much cut in half by the accident, up to that point the car felt better than it has done in a while. Even though we know Silverstone is going to be tough too, any step forward will be a big help.
'I'm not feeling any ill effects from the accident: it really looked worse than it was, I only wish I had remembered to take my hands of the wheel so it would have spared me the trip to hospital!'
'I'm looking forward to Silverstone this year. It's good to be at a circuit you really know well and you are comfortable at. We test here a lot and of course the factory is so close, it's like our home race. Personally I like the track, it's quite challenging and really one of my favourites. The atmosphere is great too, and with all the Lewis fans it should be a fantastic race.
'The test here last week went well, we tried out the complete new aero package with the wheel covers, engine cover and of course the inerter damper that we hope will give us more stability. If everything works well together, both on the aero and mechanical side, it would be a good step forward for us, which we need at the moment.
'My target for this race would be to get everything working well and hopefully being in a position where we could race and pass some cars. In Magny-Cours we were quite close, especially on my middle stint where the lap times were good, but we just need that little bit more to be able to get ahead of some others.'
British Grand Prix information
Silverstone has one of the richest histories of any current Grand Prix venue. The circuit holds the prestigious record of being the first-ever venue for a Formula One race in the official world championship, the 1950 British Grand Prix. Back then, the circuit was a real speed-fest run on an airfield with long, long straights separated by corners that demanded only marginally less speed.
The circuit then underwent numerous modifications and until 1991 was still one of the fastest on the calendar with the demanding Copse, Stowe and Club corners. It was here in 1985 that the fastest ever qualifying lap was recorded; Keke Rosberg set an average speed of more than 250kph over one lap, a record that stood for 16 years.
The circuit was modified to its current 5.141km configuration in the late 90s. It's still fast and flowing, particularly the Becketts complex that starts with a 290kph bend, although the Luffield complex does lose the rhythm just before the end of the lap. A medium downforce track, it's essential to get a well balanced car for stability through the medium and slow speed corners.
-credit: force india