Abu Dhabi GP to be Force India’s 150th F1 race

Abu Dhabi, Nov 23 (IANS) This weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be special for Force India as it will mark the 150th race of the Silverstone-based team which entered Formula 1 in 2008.

Since then, the outfit, which is headed by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, has notched up three podium finishes and a pole position. Its lone pole position and best finish both came at the 2009 Belgian GP when Italian Giancarlo Fisichella started first and finished second.

“Heading to Abu Dhabi with fifth place in the championship already secured feels pretty good. It means we can approach the last weekend of the season free from pressure and with nothing to lose. Our focus is simply on enjoying the race and ending the season in style,” said Mallya on Monday.

“Abu Dhabi will be a special race for us as it marks the 150th of our history as Force India, and we will aim to celebrate it with a strong performance on the track.”

Force India also achieved another high in 2015, finishing fifth in the constructors’ championship — their best finish till date since coming into existence in 2008.

“All season I’ve been saying how proud I am of my team – particularly our development curve in the second half of the season. With 81 points from the last eight races we’ve enjoyed our best ever strike rate and we have been competitive at every race,” said the team principal.

Mexican Sergio Perez is the other driver, who in fact has notched up two podium finishes for the team. He finished third at the 2014 Mexican GP and repeated that performance at the Russian GP in October.

“With stable regulations for 2016, there is every reason to believe we can carry this form through the winter and into the new season. There is plenty to be excited about and a lot of positive energy in the team. This weekend’s race is simply another chance to demonstrate how far we have come. Our aim will be to qualify in the top-10 and add a final helping of points to our tally,” concluded Mallya.

Perez and German Nico Hulkenberg are the two current drivers of Force India.

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