After a winter of rebuilding after the departures of key personnel with technical director James Key being the highest-profile member leaving to join Sauber in a similar role. Chief designer Lewis Butler, head of aerodynamics Marianne Hinson, and commercial director Ian Phillips also left the outfit. Force India entered into a partnership with McLaren to be supplied with gears boxes and hydraulics on the VJM04 as well as KERS from engine supplier, Mercedes.
Team stalwart, Adrian Sutil was joined by reigning DTM champion, Scotsman Paul Di Resta. The team started the season in relatively good fashion with both drivers picking up points for 9th and 10th in Melbourne after the two Sauber driver’s were disqualified after their rear wing’s failed post race scruteneering. The early performances of rookie, Di Resta, made most in the paddock sit up a take note. Sutil has enjoyed dominating his team-mate’s in the team since he first joined (then Midland F1) in 2006. Questions over Di Resta’s ability to make the transition from four years driving German touring cars, back to open wheel racing in F1 have been answered in emphatic style! Di Resta out qualified Sutil in the three opening races, picking up points in 10th place in the first two races. His inexperience has told on occasions, losing his front wing in several misjudged manoeuvres.
Sutil on the other hand has made the headlines for off track shenanigans. The quiet German was alleged to have assaulted Genii Capital chief executive, Eric Lux in a Shanghai night club after the Chinese Grand Prix, Sutil apologised and insists it was accidental. Lux is pursuing legal action following the incident to the tune of $14m. Sutil’s manager Manfred Zimmermann stated, “Anyone who knows Adrian knows that he would not intentionally hurt anybody. When it comes to this injury, Adrian regrets it very much but it was an unfortunate accident with no intention,”
Sutil vowed not to let the looming criminal charges affect his on track exploits. The team also backed their driver and he has repaid their faith with a string of strong races of late, going in into the summer break with a season best 6th place finish at the German Grand Prix.
With the team going into the second half of the season in 7th place in the constructor’s championship after jumping ahead of Torro Rosso, team owner Vijay Mallya was happy with the job done by his team and is looking forward to the second half of the year, “We’re finishing the first part of the season on a very positive note. I think everybody has reason to feel proud and happy, and they can have a good break and come back refreshed with renewed energy and ready to score some more points.”