Tag Archive: Formula One

2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix tickets go on sale

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Early bird tickets to third race weekend in Baku offer 20% discounts for F1 fans

Baku City Circuit (BCC) has just released tickets for the 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix on Monday 6th November.

The third successive Formula 1 race to be staged on the streets of Azerbaijan’s capital city is taking place on the weekend of April 27th - 29th 2018, the first time the race will be staged in Baku at this time of year.

BCC is offering fans a limited supply of special ‘early bird’ discounts of 20% on the cost of all four-day tickets. This exciting offer will be available until December 31st 2017, after which the cost of tickets will revert back to their original price.

A four-day ticket includes grandstand access to not only the three days of racing as well as all accompanying entertainment offerings but also to a special Public Pit Lane Walk on Thursday 26th April.

This unique experience was hugely popular last year and saw thousands of fans enter the sport’s inner sanctum where they witnessed the teams’ engineers and mechanics applying the finishing touches to the cars in their respective garages ahead of what turned out to be one of the most dramatic F1 races in recent memory.

The 2017 F1 race weekend in Baku was widely recognised as the most exciting and unpredictable race of the season so far, with the two title contenders, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, literally clashing on track in one of the most memorable incidents in the sport’s history. Ultimately, the race ended with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo unexpectedly securing the win ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and the youngest rookie to ever secure a spot on the podium, Williams’ 18-year-old Lance Stroll. It was truly an unforgettable race set against the backdrop of Azerbaijan’s stunning capital on one the most challenging circuits on the F1 calendar.

In addition to the discounted four-day ticket offering, special ‘Junior’ tickets for children aged 2-16 are now also available for families travelling to the event together.

Daily Roaming Tickets are also on offer to those preferring to watch the action from different locations on the track on various standing areas and podiums.

For more information on how to purchase tickets and plan your stay in Baku for the 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix please visit: www.bakucitycircuit.com

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79-year-old rally driver becomes oldest to drive Renault Sport Formula One car

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At 79 years old, Rosemary Smith is proving age is just a number as she fulfils her lifelong dream of driving a Renault Sport Formula One™ Team car.

As part of Renault Sport Formula One™ Team’s 40th Anniversary celebrations, the team at Renault UK saw an opportunity to make this dream come true for the rally-driver, arranging for her to get behind the wheel of one.

Rosemary initially trained as a seamstress and opened her own dress shop, which unexpectedly became her route into the world of motorsport when one of her clients invited her to navigate in a rally. However, it wasn’t long before the Dublin-born craver of excitement switched to driving and the silverware soon followed.

The Irish racer competed in some of the most iconic rallies around the world, taking home many trophies despite disqualifications and people looking to hold her back in the notoriously male-dominated sport.  A particularly poignant victory was the famous Tulip Rally, which she won in 1965, an achievement which made not only the motorsport world take notice but also Hollywood, with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton sending her a huge bouquet and congratulatory letter.

After years competing and winning at the highest level in world rallying, Rosemary set up her own driving school using Renault Clios and for the past two decades has campaigned for young driver education to be introduced in schools across the country.

Despite these achievements, Rosemary never got the chance to partake in arguably the greatest motorsport experience – driving a Renault Sport Formula One™ Team car – until now.

Speaking of the experience Rosemary said: “Driving an 800bhp car is something I, like many other racers, have always dreamt of but I didn’t think I’d ever have the opportunity to do it, so when the team at Renault UK contacted me I jumped at the chance.

“It was definitely very different to the rally cars I’m used to but was an amazing experience. I could feel myself getting more and more.

“After racing and facing the challenges of competing in a male-dominated sport together for many years I was so happy I was able to share this latest milestone and give me that extra boost. It just goes to show that anyone can fulfil their dreams at any age if they put their mind to it and always follow their passions.”

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VISCERAL: The world’s fastest single-seater 2.8-second road-legal car expands its horizons

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Liverpool-based car manufacturing brothers who made the world’s fasted single-seater formula-style-car, continue to take the world by storm.

Providing a visceral and exhilarating driving experience, the Mono, since it’s launch in 2011 it has been going from strength to strength and is now sold in several markets around the world.

Now the British manufacturer behind the Mono - Briggs Automotive Company (BAC), is now expanding its operations in North America.

Co-founded by Ian and Neill Briggs the Mono has enjoyed success in the USA, having exported the highly acclaimed luxury supercar out there.

BAC willl be rolling out a direct Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) strategy in California for its operations.

Lat year’s model year version of the Mono was armed with a four-cylinder 305bhp 2.5-litre Mountune engine, which takes the 580kg car from 0-60mph in just 2.8sec.

BAC also recently launched a carbon hybrid wheel and announced the use of super material graphene, which is up to 20 per cent lighter than carbon fibre and as much as 200 times stronger than steel.

Now with the facility to directly sell and service cars, BAC aims to enhance its already sterling reputation and bring the Mono to a more diverse audience and improve the BAC experience for existing customers.

BAC USA is based in Sonoma, California, with Mark Rayner overseeing the business. The brand’s dealership programme is now in full swing, boosting its profile in major cities and states across the States.

The company is also providing technical support, dealer acquisition and technician training and aims to have between 8-10 dedicated dealers across the USA within the next 12 months.

Despite its global appeal, BAC Mono states it remains proudly British, with parts sourced from its home country wherever possible.

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Time to go, Nico!

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FAREWELL: Nico Hulkenberg will race for Renault next year as Sergio Perez prepares to welcome new partner

FAREWELL: Nico Hulkenberg will race for Renault next year as Sergio Perez prepares to welcome new partner

Hulkenberg targets success stories as he joins Renault

After back-to-back record breaking seasons, Force India’s team of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez is splitting with the prior, jumping ship to join Renault.

The 29-year-old German has enjoyed three years with the constructors, helping to steer them up the  table from sixth to a current fourth place position.

With just two races to go, speculation as to who will replace Hulkenberg next year has already begun, with 22-year-old Manor driver, Pascal Wehrlein, amongst the favourites.

With only one point to his name throughout his Formula One career, it may be a risky move in some people’s eyes, yet the young German has been singled out previously by both Mercedes and Force India for test driving.

Force India’s deputy principal, Bob Fernley, said: “It’s (co-owner and principal) Vijay (Mallya)’s decision and we’ll start those discussions probably when we get back next week.

“I think we’ll take our time, have a look at what offers are on the table, Vijay will make his decision and then we’ll announce it.”

Pressed further, he said it could be ‘next week or the week after or even the week after that’.

In a statement released upon joining Renault, Hulkenberg said he was excited to be joining a full works outfit in Formula One.

He said: “I’m very happy to join Renault Sport Formula 1 Team in 2017. Renault has always been a big player in the motorsport world that brings up incredible memories: in his stint with Renault, Michael Schumacher not only helped make Germany an F1 nation, he also sparked my enthusiasm and fire for racing.

“As a part of the Renault family, I want to develop the car and write new success stories.

“It has always been my dream to work for a manufacturer team. F1’s new regulations will change the game and give our team a good opportunity. In the years to come, Renault will play a challenger role, which fits my approach to racing 100 per cent. I can’t wait to become part of the family.”

On his experience of driving for Force India, he added: “For the remaining races this year, I will give my best for Force India to reach fourth place in the constructors’ championship. This would be a great achievement for the whole Force India team, the biggest success in its history and a great end to a fantastic time there.

“I am grateful that Force India has given me the chance to take up this new opportunity.”

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Record result: Force India flying in Silverstone

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WEATHER WARNING: Drivers had to tackle all conditions in the typically British weather seen at Silverstone

WEATHER WARNING: Drivers had to tackle all conditions in the typically British weather seen at Silverstone

Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg’s recent outing at Silverstone was not only notable for their almost simultaneous finish but their record breaking points amassed at the British Grand Prix.

The 14 points they registered for Force India is higher than any previous attempt and shows how far the team has progressed in recent campaigns.

Perez, who is enjoying a great 2016 season, eventually finished the race in sixth spot, with German Hulkenberg just one place behind.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - British Grand Prix - Race Day - Silverstone, EnglandPutting the success down to making the ‘right calls at the right time’ Perez said: “It’s a very good result for the team, with two cars in the points, even if I feel I could have kept fifth place without that spin at turn one.

“When I had that moment I thought my race was over, but I managed to save it. However, I flat-spotted my tyres and that hurt me for the rest of the race in terms of degradation.

“I pushed hard to try and keep Raikkonen behind, and it was only when he passed me that I was able to take it easy and save the tyres.

“We had to do a very long stint on the mediums, which was a bit of a risk as degradation was quite high, but the team made the right calls at the right time and it paid off in the end.”

A disappointed Hulkenberg believes he should have finished further up the field yet was ultimately the victim of bad luck.

“Obviously a good result for the team, but I still feel a bit frustrated with how the race unfolded because things didn’t work in my favour today,” he added.

“I really lost out under the virtual safety car, which allowed a lot of cars to jump me when I had already made the switch to intermediates. Then, I was stuck behind Felipe [Massa] for so many laps, even though I was a lot quicker than him.

There was only a narrow dry line with a lot of standing water offline so it wasn’t easy to make a move.”

He added: “Although I’m not totally happy, I am pleased with the car performance and the fact that we scored good points today.”

Next up for drivers is the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday 24th July – one of only two races from the 2015 calendar which Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton failed to secure podium finishes in.

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Optimism following disappointment

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DRIVING FORCE: Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, says he is looking forward to the British Grand Prix

DRIVING FORCE: Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, says he is looking forward to the British Grand Prix

Force India leave empty handed from Austria

Force India’s run of back-to-back podium finishes came to an abrupt end in the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend with both drivers falling short of finishing amongst points.

Nico Hulkenberg eventually drove home in 19th position, whilst teammate Sergio Perez – who had finished third in his last two outings – came crashing down to earth with a 17th placed finish on the Red Bull Ring.

Brazilian Hulkenberg had started on the front row when drivers lined up on Sunday morning yet he was pushed further down the pecking order as the race commenced.

An equally disappointing story for Perez, whose poor qualifying drive set up an ultimately disappointing time in Austria.

UPS AND DOWNS: Sergio Perez had previously recorded successive third placed finishes in Monaco and Baku prior to his ‘no point’s’ performance in Austria

UPS AND DOWNS: Sergio Perez had previously recorded successive third placed finishes in Monaco and Baku prior to his ‘no point’s’ performance in Austria

Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, said the team have come to grips with what went wrong and are hoping to set the record straight when Silverstone arrives this Sunday.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, Monaco“Leaving Austria empty-handed was very disappointing. We showed good form throughout the weekend, but various factors prevented us from realising our true potential. We’ve understood what went wrong and I’m confident we can bounce back this weekend at Silverstone,” he said.

“We shouldn’t let one unlucky race overshadow the great results we have been achieving recently.

“We’re sitting fifth in the championship and the battle for fourth remains wide open with twelve races still to go. We’ve got some extra performance coming for the VJM09 this weekend and that should help us for the races leading up to the summer break.”

Ahead of this weekend’s return to Britain for Silverstone, Dr Mallya remained optimistic.

“There is no denying that Silverstone is one of the most special races of the whole season. Being so close to our factory, just across the road, means our staff can be close to the action and we enjoy incredible support from our fans,” he added.

“The British Grand Prix is one of the classic races on the calendar and the atmosphere is unique: the supporters are brilliant and knowledgeable; there is a party atmosphere in the campsites and the weekend is a true celebration of our sport.”

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Baku Brilliance

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PODIUM FINISH: Sergio Perez registered his second third place finish in this year’s Formula One campaign last weekend

PODIUM FINISH: Sergio Perez registered his second third place finish in this year’s Formula One campaign last weekend

The image of Sergio Perez on the podium is becoming somewhat of a common sight in Formula One this season after the Force India driver sealed his second third place finish of 2016 last weekend.

Racing in Baku, Azerbaijan, for the first time, the race was one which will be fondly remembered for the Force India team, who continue to build on a stellar campaign.

Finishing only behind championship leader, Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, Perez registered 15 points for the constructors whilst teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, picked up two more in ninth spot.

Speaking of his latest race success, Perez said: “I knew that the podium was possible today, but we really had to work hard for it. The key to my race was the great start I made to get around a Williams [Massa] and a Toro Rosso [Kvyat].

“Then, in the first stint I was suffering with graining of my supsersoft tyres and we had to decide whether to wait for it to improve or to make an early stop. In the end, we stayed out longer, which was the right decision, but when I came out of the pits I struggled to warm-up the soft tyres and I was under big pressure from Lewis [Hamilton] behind.

“I pushed as hard as I could and opened up a gap, and then I focussed on looking after my tyres.

“I closed in on Kimi [Raikkonen] and I knew he had a penalty, but on the final lap I got very close to him and saw the opportunity to overtake him, so I took it. To be on the podium for a second time this year feels fantastic. The team has done a brilliant job and we are having an amazing year.”

Up next for drivers is the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday 3rd July before teams head over to the UK just one week later.

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Bahrain beckons: Perez targets points finish in Gulf state

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RACE TIME: Sergio Perez is hoping to repeat his 2014 appearance in Bahrain where he claimed a podium finish

RACE TIME: Sergio Perez is hoping to repeat his 2014 appearance in Bahrain where he claimed a podium finish

The engines are revving, the drivers are ready and the scene is set, all that’s left now is for the chequered flag to wave in Bahrain and the second race of the Formula One season can commence.

Last year, Lewis Hamilton clinched pole position, followed by Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg, as Mercedes once again dominated yet another race.

This weekend, Force India’s drivers will be hoping to throw a spanner in the works for other constructors as they look to build on a solid start in Australia.

Sergio Perez, who finished eighth in the Bahrain race last year, says he is hoping to get his first points of the season in the Gulf state.

He said:  “Australia didn't bring the result I was hoping for so I am targeting a better outcome from Bahrain.

“Getting a bad start really compromised my race last time out because I got stuck in the middle of cars on different strategies and I couldn't recover. However, it’s a long season and I have an opportunity to get back in the points in Bahrain.

“The racing is never boring in Bahrain so fans should enjoy some good entertainment. There are long straights and sharp braking zones so it's great for overtaking, but the big tractions zones make this a tough track for the rear tyres.

“I think tyre degradation will be a key factor in the outcome of this race. The track evolves a lot as the race goes on, as the cars sweep away all the sand and dust that the wind has blown onto the track.”

Perez has good memories of the Bahrain track, celebrating his first podium finish with Force India back in 2014, whilst Nico Hulkenberg came in fifth.

A similar point’s total would be welcomed with open arms by the constructors this year as they strive for another record breaking year on the track.

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A year to build on

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OPTIMISTIC: Vijay Mallya is ready for the first flag of the 2016 F1 season

OPTIMISTIC: Vijay Mallya is ready for the first flag of the 2016 F1 season

With less than one month to go until the biggest names in racing return to the track for the start of the 2016 Formula One campaign, Force India co-owner, Vijay Mallya, says he has high hopes for the year ahead.

Drivers line up for the first race on Sunday 20th March as they take on the Australian Grand Prix.

A slow start to last year’s race calendar resulted in a final fifth spot finish in the constructor’s standings, and this year Vijay says fourth ‘could’ be a possibility.

Speaking about his delight at keeping teammates, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, he said: “I’m very happy with my drivers.

“They both fit well with our approach and racing philosophy, and they enjoy racing here.

“We treat our drivers equally; we give them freedom to be themselves, and I think this environment brings out the best from both of them.

“Having two quick drivers has always been our philosophy because it creates healthy competition within the team, which helps to drive us forward. I expect more of the same in 2016.”

With one podium finish and three top five positions in the final eight races in 2015, it was a season to remember for all involved with Force India.

Vijay says he hopes this momentum can be carried onto the next campaign.

“I’m always wary of making bold predictions so early in the season, but I’m optimistic we can stay at the front of the midfield battle,” he said.

“If you look at the second half of last year, after the summer break, we outscored Red Bull Racing by six points and were only nine points behind Williams - so we’ve got to begin the new season with those teams firmly in our sights.”

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Chequered flag waves on 2015 Formula One season

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CHAMPION: Lewis Hamilton sealed the 2015 World Championship title following his victory in America in October

CHAMPION: Lewis Hamilton sealed the 2015 World Championship title following his victory in America in October

Rosberg wins in Abu Dhabi whilst Force India seal record points finish

Eight months and 19 races after the 2015 Formula One campaign began in Australia, drivers and constructors finally passed the finish line for the last time last weekend as the season drew to a close in Abu Dhabi.

With Lewis Hamilton already secured as the World Champion for the second year in a row, it was Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg, who took first spot in the Gulf State to finish his year with three straight victories.

The duo have been unstoppable this year, triumphing in every race except three, with only Sebastian Vettel being able to squeeze his way onto the top of the podium.

Whether Mercedes can prolong their dominance in the sport is still yet to be seen however there are certainly resemblances in their form to that of Red Bull’s when they enjoyed four championships in a row.

Elsewhere, Force India will be content with a season high finish for the constructors, ending in fifth spot, and drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg sealing ninth and tenth place respectively.

The pair finished the season with a point’s flurry and came home in fifth and seventh spot in Abu Dhabi to round off a great season.

RACE: Drivers will now hang up their helmets for four months until the next Formula One season begins next year

RACE: Drivers will now hang up their helmets for four months until the next Formula One season begins next year

Mexican Perez, who has discovered the best form of his career in recent races, commented after the final flag of the season: “It feels great to end the season with a strong performance and I’m very satisfied with how everything has gone this weekend – both in qualifying and the race.

“Looking back on the whole season it’s been my best year in Formula One and the most successful year for the team. There is a lot of potential for next season and we will be aiming even higher.”  

Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer at Force India, reiterated the enthusiasm of his driver and was confident of a successful 2016 campaign.

“We end the season with a strong result and 16 world championship points – the most we’ve scored at any race this season,” he said.

“Today’s result shows just how much progress we have made this season and gives me confidence ahead of 2016.

“The second part of the season is testament to the hard work of everyone in the team and highlights the upward direction the team has followed in the last few years.

“We will celebrate this year's results, but we know we cannot rest on our laurels: we're already at work on our 2016 cars to pick up where we left off tonight and be competitive from the start of next year’s championship.”

CONCLUSION: Force India recorded a season best 16 World Championship points in Abu Dhabi last weekend

CONCLUSION: Force India recorded a season best 16 World Championship points in Abu Dhabi last weekend

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World Champion

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CHAMPION: Lewis Hamilton clinched his second World Championship last weekend with a dominant display in Abu Dhabi.

CHAMPION: Lewis Hamilton clinched his second World Championship last weekend with a dominant display in Abu Dhabi.

Hamilton makes history in Abu Dhabi

In a season which saw the race for the Formula One World Championship go right down to the final day, it was Lewis Hamilton who clinched the prestigious accolade for a second time to cement his name amongst the British greats.

The Mercedes driver lead from the first flag to the last in a performance which perfectly summed up his 2014 campaign behind the wheel.

Edging ahead of his teammate, Nico Rosberg, on the first turn, the championship was never in doubt, especially when his German compatriot suffered engine difficulties and was pushed way back down the grid.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu DhabiThe pair had been neck and neck all year, with only Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo managing to shrug them off top spot on three occasions, and going into the race in Abu Dhabi, just 17 points separated them.

With points being doubled at the final grand prix of the year, the result was far from a foregone conclusion. Rosberg took pole position after qualifying fastest and another tight race looked to be coming.

It was a shame that car troubles took away some of the competitiveness on the final day of the racing calendar yet for Hamilton, it was still ‘the best day of his life’.

“This has been just an incredible year. I can't believe how amazing,” said Hamilton.

“This is the greatest moment in my life. It feels very surreal.

“(Winning in) 2008 was special but the feeling I have now is above and beyond. It's the greatest feeling I've ever had. Thanks so much everyone.”

Meanwhile, the Force India duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez picked up an impressive haul of 28 points on their final outing of the year, finishing in sixth and seventh position respectively.

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Checkered flag waved on 2013 season

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Eight months and 19 races after the 2013 Formula One season was launched, the whole show came to an end last weekend, with the now common sight of Sebastian Vettel being crowned victorious.

The German has had a stellar season, winning all of the final nine races, 13 in total, and breaking record after record for the Red Bull team.

GOODBYE: Mark Webber will leave the sport after 12 years, to focus on other racing

GOODBYE: Mark Webber will
leave the sport after 12 years, to focus on other racing

Last weekend’s Grand Prix in picturesque Brazil was the icing on the cake for the 26-year-old who walked away with his fourth consecutive world title. Teammate Mark Webber also clinched his eighth podium finish of the year, coming in third, and will now leave the sport after 12 years to focus on a career elsewhere in racing.  Force India’s pairing of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta have had a rollercoaster season to reflect on after a flying start petered out into seven blank results in the final 11 races.

Both drivers finished the latest race empty handed which proved to be a cruel blow to the British racer, Di Resta, who slipped down two positions in the final overall standings to 12th; Adrian Sutil was 19 points behind in 13th.

BLANK: Paul Di Resta was disappointed to finish the season outside of the top ten but was proud of the team’s efforts this year

BLANK: Paul Di Resta was disappointed to finish the season outside of the top ten but was proud of the team’s efforts this year

Speaking after the race, Di Resta said: “Although I missed out on a top ten position in the championship, it’s been a successful season, an incredible journey and I want to say a massive thanks to the team for the job they’ve done this year.

“I think we can go away from here quite satisfied with what we achieved today and with the year as a whole.” Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal, reiterated his racers’ comments adding: “In the end we achieved our target of a top six finish quite comfortably, which is a real credit to everybody at Sahara Force India. It means we’ve finished in the top six twice in the last three seasons, consolidating our reputation as being the best non-manufacturer team.

“Looking back on the season as a whole I think we can be proud of our performance. The start of the year was exceptional and we recaptured our form in the final few races. We look forward to the challenge of 2014 and will come back determined to pick up where we left off.”

PODIUM: (l-r) Mark Webber (Third); Sebastian Vettel (First); Fernando Alonso (Second) celebrate their finish at the final grand prix of the season

PODIUM: (l-r) Mark Webber (Third); Sebastian Vettel (First); Fernando
Alonso (Second) celebrate their finish at the final grand prix of the season

Formula One will return next year for the 2014 campaign with the first race in Australia in March. Until then, teams have four months to ready themselves for the next installment with constructors and drivers alike having to try to find a way of stopping the Vettel dominance.

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