Comtec Racing is a motor racing team based in the United Kingdom. It competes in three championships — Formula Renault, World Series by Renault and the Auto GP World Series; the team started out in Formula Ford from the ashes of the Van Diemen works team. Team Principal Piere Moncheur has guided the team since its formation; the Formula Ford UK 2003 Championship was a 3-car assault, Tom Gaymor claimed 5th place, Oliver Jarvis finished 8th and Dan Clarke finished 12th. For 2004 a 2-car assault on the Formula Renault UK Championship was launched with Westley Barber and Susie Stoddart as drivers. Westley finished runner up in the championship with Susie finishing 5th. Susie Wolf is now a test driver for the Williams F1 team; the team moved up to compete in the European and French Formula Renault Championships for 2005 with Westley Barber and Pippa Mann. Westley ran out of funds halfway through the year after a promising start which included a 2nd-place finish at the season opener and Pippa was much on a learning curve with a best finish of 14th.
In 2006, Comtec competed in the World Series by Renault. In there maiden year Alx Danielsson won the championship. Halfway through the year a nightmare weekend at Spa proved the turning point for Alx Danielsson, he wrote his car off twice but after that five podiums which included four wins in 8 races gave Alx the crown in a great comeback. Pippa Mann continued to drive in the Formula Renault Eurocup with a best finish of 15th. In 2007, the team used several drivers. Alejandro Núñez finished. In 2008, Marco Bonanomi and Pasquale Di Sabatino joined the team. Bonanomi finished 11th. Di Sabatino was replaced for the final four races by Duncan Tappy. In 2008 The team bought out the formula ford constructor Spirit and brought in the former UK champion Westley Barber alongside Brazilian rookie Francisco Weiler. Westley had a good start to the year and the car was good but the Mygale was better and in the hands of Wayne Boyd it dominated. Westley achieved two 2nd-place finishes at Brands Hatch, a 3rd and 4th place at Knockill and two other 5th-place finishes before the curtain was pulled down on the venture half the way through the season.
In 2009, still pursuing the Renault 3.5 world series Jon Lancaster led the team. He gained one win after joining the championship halfway; the other seat changed between Anton Nebylitskiy, Harald Schlegelmilch, Alexandre Marsoin, John Martin, Max Chilton and Alberto Valerio. In 2010 the team finished 5th. Greg Mansell was the team's other driver. In 2011, Comtec signed rookies Daniel Daniël de Jong. New Zealander Chris Van Der Drift tested the car to help the two Daniels in there quest to improve, but to little effect, just 2 points in the teams championship was all. For 2012 Comtec Signed Vittorio Ghirelli. Nick scored 2 wins for the team on his way to a creditable 5th-place finish overall in the championship. Vittorio endured a long learning curve but showed improvement with good drives ending with 5 points for the season. 2013 saw the team rebranded to the promotion of Phil Blow to team manager. Series veteran Daniil Move will be partnered by Lucas Foresti; the team has just announced a partnership with Virtuosi Racing with an entry into Auto GP for Venezuelan Roberto La Rocca with a view to entering 2 cars in 2014 alongside their assault on the World Series By Renault.
At the first race in Auto GP Roberto La Rocca scored a creditable 8th-place finish which meant starting from pole for the 2nd race on a reverse grid. Roberto was running 5th before being pushed off, he went on to finish a creditable 7th. Better than the two drivers in the parent team Virtuosi Racing; the team was based close to the Snetterton Motor Racing Circuit in Norfolk. After 16 years of racing Comtec Racing closed its doors for the last time in 2017. Fond memories of ups and downs have been made for mechanics, engineers and other staff for sure. Comtec has had a successful period in single seater club racing. Former team owner Jonathan Lewis won the 2003 and 2004 Monoposto 2000 series and the 2003 Formula 4 Championship, his brother Chris Lewis won the Formula 4 Championship in 2006. John Roberts and Steve Patania had race wins in Formula 4; the team endured a great battle and friendly rivalry with ABM Racing Adrian Kidd and Barry Pritchard. Adrian Kidd won the championship in 2004, Barry Pritchard in 2005 The team ran Adrian Kidd's 16-year-old son Ben Kidd in the inaugural season of SAXMAX in 2006 after sadly Adrian died.
In June 2007, the team's WSR car was featured in the BBC television programme Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain. The team has appeared in the BBC motoring programme Top Gear, where presenter Richard Hammond drove a Comtec Formula Renault and World Series by Renault car before moving up to a Renault Formula One car. Notes: 1.^ - Iaconelli entered in 4 races for EuroInternational and 6 races for GD Racing. 2.^ - Míguez scored 1 point in 11 races for Pons Racing. 3.^ - van Lagen entered in 2 races for EuroInternational. 4.^ - Nebylitskiy scored 1 point in 13 races for SG Formula. 5.^ - Greg Mansell scored 3 points in 13 races for Ultimate Motorsport. Comtec Racing
Formula One drivers from France
There have been 73 Formula One drivers from France, the most successful of them being Alain Prost who won the World Drivers' Championship four times. The title has been won by a French driver on four occasions, all of which were victories for Alain Prost. Eleven other drivers have won at least one race, though they are all far behind Prost's tally of 51 wins. Alain Prost debuted with McLaren in 1980, he finished in the points on four occasions but only finished 16th overall, moving to Renault for the following season. After three successful years, including finishing the 1983 season as the championship runner-up, he returned to McLaren. Prost drove with the team between 1984 and 1989, winning the championship three times and coming second twice. During this time McLaren introduced a new team-mate for Prost – Ayrton Senna, their relationship was difficult and the pair clashed on and off the track, leading to it being described as "one of the sport's greatest rivalries". Prost joined Ferrari in 1990 and resumed his battle with Senna, losing the championship at the final race of the season after the pair collided.
In 1991 the Ferrari was uncompetitive and for the first time since his debut season Prost was unable to win a race. He publicly slated the team for their performances and was subsequently fired before the end of the year, he took a year off in 1992 and returned for one last season in 1993, winning his fourth championship. René Arnoux won seven races during a career than spanned 12 years, having made his debut in 1978 with Martini; the team folded part way through the season, he secured a drive with Renault for the following year. For some of his time there he partnered Alain Prost, he controversially ignored team orders to win the 1982 French Grand Prix ahead of his favoured team mate, he moved to Scuderia Ferrari and enjoyed his most successful season, winning three races and finishing third in the championship. Ligier signed Arnoux for four seasons from 1986 and he retired after several years of poor performance. Jacques Laffite, who developed Ligier race cars, won six races and finished fourth in the drivers title in three successive seasons: he was the first French driver to win a Grand Prix, in Sweden, for a French team, with a French car and a French engine.
His Formula One career began in 1974 and ended with a serious accident at the 1986 British Grand Prix, though he still raced in other disciplines. Didier Pironi started his Formula One career in 1978 with Tyrrell, he moved to Ligier in 1980 alongside compatriot Jacques Laffite outpacing the team leader. He finished fifth in the championship, he signed with Ferrari as partner to Gilles Villeneuve but could not keep pace with the French-Canadian. In 1982, the year of Villeneuve's death, Pironi looked set to win the championship having won two races and finished on the podium six times. At the German Grand Prix he crashed during a practice session, breaking his legs and ending both his title challenge and his career. Patrick Tambay made his Formula One debut in 1977 with Ensign, he signed for McLaren for his second year in the sport but the car was never competitive. He left the team at the end of 1979. Tambay was dropped at the end of the season, he announced his retirement but was asked to drive for Ferrari for the second half of the 1982 season after the death their driver, close friend of Tambay, Gilles Villeneuve.
He stayed with Ferrari for the following season, winning once more. After two years with Renault and one with Lola he retired for a second time. Maurice Trintignant competed in the inaugural season of the Formula One World Championship, debuting at the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix in a Simca-Gordini. Five years he became the first French driver to win a World Championship Grand Prix at the same circuit, his only other race win came at Monaco when he took the chequered flag in the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix. He retired in 1964 having raced with ten different teams. Patrick Depailler, who developed and drove the 6-wheels Tyrrell P34, won 1978 Monaco Grand Prix and 1979 Spanish Grand Prix for the British team. Jean-Pierre Jabouille, who developed and drove the Renault turbo, won the 1979 French Grand Prix and the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix for the French team. François Cevert won the 1971 United States Grand Prix for Tyrrell, he died after an accident in practice of 1973 United States Grand Prix. Jean-Pierre Beltoise, iconic Matra driver, won the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix for BRM.
Jean Alesi is the only French driver to be in the "200-plus club", having competed in 201 races and being one of only a small number of drivers to reach the landmark. He made his debut in 1989 and raced with a variety of teams until his retirement in 2001, he only won one race -- the 1995 Canadian Grand Prix. Olivier Panis is the most recent French driver to have secured a race victory, being first to take the chequered flag at the 1996 Monaco Grand Prix. Jean Alesi: 202 GP from 1989 to 2001, 241 points, 1 win Philippe Alliot: 116 GP from 1984 to 1994, 7 points René Arnoux: 165 GP from 1978 to 1989, 181 points, 7 wins Marcel Balsa: 1 GP in 1952 Élie Bayol: 8 GP from 1952 to 1956, 2 points Jean Behra: 53 GP from 1952 to 1959, 51,14 points Paul Belmondo: 27 GP in 1992 and 1994 Jean-Pierre Beltoise: 88 GP from 1967 to 1974, 77 points, 1 win Éric Bernard: 47 GP from 1989 to 1994, 10 points Jules Bianchi: 34 GP, in 2013 and 2014, 2 points Jean-Christophe Boullion: 1
Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters
The Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters is a touring car series sanctioned by DMSB and ITR, an affiliation of FIA since 1976 and 2003 respectively. Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters cars use a silhouette racing car based on a mass-produced road car, is based in Germany, but with rounds elsewhere in Europe. From 2000 onwards, this new DTM continued the former Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft and ITC, discontinued after 1996 due to high costs. During the ITC era a large proportion of the revenue generated by the championship went to the FIA, with the result that less went to the teams who subsequently complained of little return on their large investment in the high-tech series. Since 1997 many ideas have been discussed in order to find a compromise for rules of a new DTM. Opel put the primary emphasis on cost control, Mercedes-Benz supported expensive competitiveness in development, BMW wanted an international series rather than one focused on Germany only, while Audi insisted on allowing their trademark quattro four-wheel drive in sports car racing.
The DTM returned in 2000 as Mercedes and Opel had agreed to use cars that were based on the concept car, shown by Opel on various occasions, e.g. the 1999 24 Hours Nürburgring where Opel celebrated its 100th anniversary. The series adopted the format of the 1995 championship, with most rounds held in Germany with occasional rounds throughout Europe, but having learnt the lessons of the ITC disaster, the ITR strived to keep costs in the series from exploding to unreasonable levels, to keep the championship tied to its German roots; as too many races were planned outside Germany, no Championship status was granted by the DMSB, the DTM initials now stand for Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. Unlike the previous incarnation which used saloon models like the Mercedes-Benz W201, the new DTM featured only 2-door coupés. Opel used the upcoming Coupé version of the Astra as in the concept car, Mercedes the CLK model, used as a pattern for the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR; the motorsport arm of the Bavarian tuning company Abt Sportsline was allowed to enter on short notice.
Abt used the Audi TT as a basis, as Audi had no suitable 2-door coupé though the dimensions of this car did not fit into the rules. The 1999 STW-Supertouring-champion Christian Abt could not defend his STW title as this series was discontinued, with Opel moving into DTM. In May 2000, the new DTM started with the traditional Hockenheimring short track version; some cars still had no or few sponsorship decals. While Opel could match the speed of most Mercedes in the 2000 season, the hastily developed Abt-Audis were outclassed; as the TT shape had rather poor aerodynamic properties, Abt was allowed to use a stretched form later. Further benefits like a higher rear wing helped the Abt-Audi TT-R win the DTM championship in 2002 with Laurent Aïello. In 2000, Manuel Reuter came second in the championship. After that year, no Opel driver was among the top three, with few podium finishes and no victory for the disappointing "lightnings". On the other hand, it was Opel team boss Volker Strycek who brought a new highlight to the fans, by racing a modified DTM car on the traditional old version of the Nürburgring in 2002, 20 years after the top classes had moved to the modern Grand Prix track, 10 years after the old DTM stopped racing there.
The Opels did not win in most of their entries in the VLN endurance races as they were testing, but the speed was impressive, the fans loved it. They won however the 2003 Nürburgring 24 Hours against factory efforts by Audi and BMW. After their successes with the Audi R8 and the official support of the Abt-TTRs at the Nürburgring, Audi joined the DTM as a factory entry in 2004; the three constructors involved decided to switch to saloon bodies. The road models used as patterns since 2004 are the Audi A4, Opel Vectra GTS and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. All dimensions, like wheelbase, are identical in order to provide equal opportunities without the actual design of the road cars having any influence. Audi had stellar success in 2004 with Swedish driver Mattias Ekström, now a long-time veteran of the sport, becoming champion for the first time; the championship suffered a setback in 2004 when long-time also-ran Opel decided to pull out of the series at the end of the 2005 season, as part of a large cost-cutting operation in General Motors' European division.
The gap looked set to be filled by MG Rover, however their plans to enter the series were cancelled after the company collapsed in April 2005. Audi and Mercedes fielded 10 cars each in 2006, but the important television deal with the major television station ARD required three marques in 2007; the DTM carried on with only two manufacturers. The years 2007-2009 were marked by the dominance of Audi. Swede Mattias Ekström won the second of his two titles in 2007, Timo Scheider took the driver's championship in the following two years. Mercedes were in the runner-up positions in both 2008 and 2009. In 2010, Mercedes bridged the gap to Audi, as Paul di Resta won the 2010 championship driving for AMG Mercedes. In 2011 and 2012, the DTM held a Race of Champions-style exhibition event in the Munich Olympic Stadium.2012 was the year that BMW made a return to the series after twenty years away, won the drivers', teams', manufacturers' titles in their first year after a 20-year hiatus. Audi has switched from the A4 to the A5 in 2012 and to the RS5
2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
The 2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season was the 22nd Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 season. The season ended on 21 October at Barcelona; the season featured seven double-header rounds, with each race lasting for a duration of 30 minutes. All races were part of the World Series by Renault. Red Bull Junior's Daniil Kvyat won the opening race of the season at Motorland Aragón after qualifying on pole position by 0.1 seconds. Newcomer Nyck de Vries finished in second place and returnee Stoffel Vandoorne attained his maiden podium in third; the race was red-flagged after a violent crash between Daniel Cammish and Hans Villemi, with Villemi flipping over the back of Cammish's car. Both drivers suffered long-term injuries in the crash, have yet to return to the series. IRace Professional driver Óscar Tunjo of Tech 1 Racing started the Sunday race from pole position but he was passed by Kvyat at the second turn of the first lap. Kvyat scored his first Eurocup double win, ahead of RC Formula's Norman Nato.
A month at Spa, R-ace GP's Pierre Gasly claimed his first pole position. Gasly lost positions to both Nato and Vandoorne. Nato scored his first win in the series. Gasly's teammate Andrea Pizzitola was the fastest in the second qualifying session; the race was held in heavy rain, was red-flagged after an incident at Kemmel, involving Nato and team-mate Javier Tarancón, Koiranen Motorsport's Stefan Wackerbauer and Victor Franzoni and team-mate Matthieu Vaxivière, Fortec Motorsports' Dan de Zille and KTR's Yu Kanamaru. Kvyat coped with conditions better than others, claiming his third win of the season, ahead of Fortec driver Jake Dennis and Vandoorne completed the podium; the next Eurocup stop was at the Nürburgring, where Vandoorne set the fastest time in qualifying, before he converted pole position into victory. Nato and Tech 1's Paul-Loup Chatin joined Vandoorne on the podium. Vandoorne led from start to finish the next day, claiming the pole and won the race with fastest lap. Interwetten.com Racing's Melville McKee and Gasly completed the podium.
Vandoorne's double win gave him the championship lead. Two weeks the series visited Russia for the first time, at the newly inaugurated Moscow Raceway. In both qualification sessions, Vandoorne was faster than Kvyat. However, Kvyat won both races to retake the championship lead from Vandoorne. Vandoorne took a pair of second places in Moscow, while Oliver Rowland took his first Eurocup podiums with a brace of third places; the calendar for the 2012 season was announced on 10 October 2011, the day after the end of the 2011 season. Silverstone Circuit was dropped from the calendar in favour of a round at the new Moscow Raceway in Russia. All seven rounds formed meetings of the 2012 World Series by Renault season. Points for both championships were awarded as follows: Prior to each round of the championship, two drivers from each team – if applicable – are nominated to score teams' championship points. Renault-Sport official website
Daniel Joseph Ricciardo is an Australian racing driver, competing in Formula One for the Renault F1 Team. He entered Formula One as a test driver for Scuderia Toro Rosso and made his debut at the 2011 British Grand Prix with the HRT team as part of a deal with Red Bull, he raced for Toro Rosso for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. After Mark Webber announced his retirement from Formula One, Ricciardo was confirmed as his replacement at Red Bull Racing for 2014. In his first season with Red Bull, Ricciardo finished third in the championship with his first three Formula One wins, in Canada and Belgium. After two years without victory, Ricciardo won the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix sealing third in the championship for the second time in three years at the 2016 Mexican Grand Prix. Ricciardo won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2017 and the Chinese and Monaco Grands Prix in 2018. On 3 August 2018 it was announced that he will be joining Renault on a 2-year contract for the 2019 and 2020 F1 seasons. Daniel Joseph Ricciardo was born on 1 July 1989 in Perth, Western Australia, is the son of Grace and Giuseppe "Joe" Ricciardo.
He is of Italian descent. Ricciardo has a sister named Michelle. Growing up in Duncraig, one of Perth's northern suburbs, Ricciardo's earliest memories of motorsports are of being held by his mother to watch his father race at the nearby Barbagallo Raceway in Wanneroo. Ricciardo pronounces his name "Ricardo" instead of the Italian pronunciation "Rit-chi-ardo", saying, how his family pronounces it, he has been nicknamed "the honey badger". When asked why, he said, "It's supposed to be the most fearless animal in the animal kingdom; when you look at it, he seems quite cute and cuddly, but as soon as someone crosses his territory in a way he doesn't like, he turns into a bit of a savage and he'll go after anything – tigers, pythons – he turns quickly, but he's a good guy." He wears an image of a honey badger on the back of his helmet. Ricciardo supports the AFL's West Coast Eagles, was the club's number-one ticket holder in 2015 and 2016. Born in Perth, Western Australia, Ricciardo started karting at the age of nine, as a member of the Tiger Kart Club and entered numerous karting events.
In 2005, he entered the Western Australian Formula Ford championship driving a 15-year-old Van Diemen, finishing eighth by season's end. Towards the end of the season Ricciardo took a leased 13-year-old Van Diemen across to Sandown Raceway in Melbourne to compete at the national Formula Ford series but his ageing car was uncompetitive as he finished 16th, 17th and retired during the weekend's three races; the following year, however, he won a scholarship into the Formula BMW Asian championship with Eurasia Motorsport. During his début season, Ricciardo took two victories and achieved a pole position at Zhuhai, he finished third in the Drivers' Championship with 231 points, 59 points behind the champion Earl Bamber. In August that year, he was given an outing with Motaworld Racing to race at the eighth meeting of the Formula BMW UK championship. Despite retiring from the first race, Ricciardo recovered to finish eighth in the second race and took three championship points in his only entry in the British championship.
At the end of the year, he entered the Formula BMW World Final with Fortec Motorsport where he finished in fifth position, 14 seconds off winner Christian Vietoris. 2007 saw Ricciardo switch categories to Formula Renault with RP Motorsport, entering the European and Italian championships of the category, although focused on the latter series as he entered 14 races to the four entries he took in the European championship. He finished the year seventh in the Italian series with 196 points and scoring a single podium at Valencia but failed to score a point in his handful of starts in the European races. Ricciardo stayed in Formula Renault for a second year in 2008, entering the European and Western European championships. By the end of the year, the young driver took his first European title in the Western European Cup and finished second in the Eurocup to Finn Valtteri Bottas. During the mid-part of the 2008 season, Ricciardo made his Formula Three début at the Nürburgring, entering SG Formula's Formula 3 Euro Series team.
Despite only a short amount of experience in the car, Ricciardo qualified in eighth for the first race which converted into sixth in the race after James Jakes and Christian Vietoris stalled on the grid. Ricciardo moved to the British Formula 3 Championship for the 2009 season driving for Carlin Motorsport, he made his debut in the 3.5-litre World Series by Renault championship, racing alongside Charles Pic at Tech 1 Racing for the rounds at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal. He retired before finishing fifteenth in the second; when he returned to Formula Three, he extended his championship lead to 45 points before returning to the Portuguese circuit. A win and a third in the British-registered cars, gave him an unassailable 64-point lead over Renger van der Zande with just 42 available; this meant that Ricciardo became the first Australian driver since David Brabham in 1989 to win the British Formula 3 title. Just like Brabham, Ricciardo won the title in a car powered by a Volkswagen engine.
Ricciardo finished the season on a high, taking both pole positions for the final round of the series, at Brands Hatch. He won the first race by fifteen seconds, finished fourth in the season-ending race, his championship winning margin was 87 points as Walter Grubmüller overhauled his tea
Force India Formula One Team Limited known as Force India and Sahara Force India, was a Formula One racing team and constructor based in Silverstone, United Kingdom, with an Indian licence. The team was formed in October 2007 when a consortium led by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya and Dutch businessman Michiel Mol bought the Spyker F1 team for €90 million. After going through 29 races without scoring points, Force India won their first Formula One world championship points and podium place when Giancarlo Fisichella finished second in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. Force India scored points again in the following race when Adrian Sutil finished fourth, set the team's first fastest lap, at the Italian Grand Prix; the team's other podium finishes are five third-places, in the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix, 2015 Russian Grand Prix, 2016 Monaco Grand Prix, 2016 European Grand Prix and the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, all achieved by Sergio Pérez. In October 2011, Indian company Sahara India Pariwar, purchased 42.5% of Force India F1's shares at US$100 million.
In July 2018, ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, the team announced that they had been put into administration by the High Court in London. The team's assets were bought by a consortium of investors, named Racing Point UK and led by Lawrence Stroll, the father of driver Lance Stroll; the consortium used the assets to create a new entry into the sport and the constructor, founded in 2008 ceased to exist prior to the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix. The team's origins stemmed from the Jordan Grand Prix team, which entered Formula One racing in 1991 based at the Silverstone circuit. Jordan enjoyed many years in Formula One, winning four races and achieving third place in the 1999 Constructors' Championship. However, like many of the smaller teams in the 2000s, financial problems meant the team's performance dried up, team owner Eddie Jordan sold the team to the Midland Group in early 2005; the Midland owned team renamed Midland F1 Racing in 2006 spent two seasons at the back of grid, before owner Alex Shnaider sold the team to Spyker Cars midway through the 2006 season.
Spyker F1 scored a point in 2007 and led the European Grand Prix. The team, bought for €88 million, was renamed as the Force India Formula One Team for the 2008 season, retained team principal Colin Kolles, Chief Technology Officer Mike Gascoyne, driver Adrian Sutil. After retaining Adrian Sutil for the team's first season, Force India conducted winter tests for the second driver and testing roles. Ex-Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella was chosen for the race seat, Vitantonio Liuzzi secured the reserve role. Testing of the car begun in February, after the gold and white liveried car was launched at the Gateway of India in Mumbai. With an increased budget and wind tunnels from defence company EADS, the team set itself the target of beating Super Aguri, a squad which spent the previous seasons contesting at the back with Force India's predecessors. Melbourne was the scene of Force India's first race, although the Australian Grand Prix gave the team a poor start with both drivers retiring in the first few laps, the following race in Malaysia saw Fisichella's twelfth place earn the team's first finish.
After disappointing results in the opening races, Sutil gave the team the chance to score its first points in the wet Monaco Grand Prix, but towards the end of the race Kimi Räikkönen's Ferrari lost control and hit Sutil's car causing immediate retirement. Although a furious Gascoyne called for Räikkönen to be penalised, overtakes under yellow flag conditions would have meant Sutil receiving a time penalty post-race, dropping him out of points. Continuous updates to improve reliability and performance allowed the team to close the gap to the fastest teams during the mid-season, despite Super Aguri's withdrawal meaning the two cars started from the rear of the grid for the majority of races. A seamless-shift transmission introduced at Valencia marked the end of development for the car. Force India had been focusing on 2009 since Mallya brought the team, believing that the new regulations would yield better results. Despite halting work on the VJM01, Fisichella put his car to a season-best 12th on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix during an wet qualifying session.
Fisichella continued his good form by reaching second during the Singapore round and fifth at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. Force India finished the season tenth place in the Constructors' Championship, Fisichella achieved the best finish of tenth at the Spanish Grand Prix. Force India retained the same drivers for the 2009 season; the VJM02 was powered by Mercedes-Benz engines, after the team signed a five-year deal on 10 November 2008. The deal included a supply of McLaren-Mercedes gearboxes, hydraulic systems and the KERS feature; the car was revealed on 1 March 2009. At the wet Chinese Grand Prix, Sutil secured Force India's first points, holding sixth place in front of Lewis Hamilton and Timo Glock with six laps remaining when aquaplaning led to the Force India car skidding off the road and crashing out of the race. At the German Grand Prix, Sutil qualified in seventh place and battled for the points, reaching second at one
Formula One is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile and owned by the Formula One Group. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950; the word "formula" in the name refers to the set of rules to which all participants' cars must conform. A Formula One season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, which take place worldwide on purpose-built circuits and on public roads; the results of each race are evaluated using a points system to determine two annual World Championships: one for drivers, the other for constructors. Drivers must hold valid Super Licences, the highest class of racing licence issued by the FIA; the races must run on tracks graded "1", the highest grade-rating issued by the FIA. Most events occur in rural locations on purpose-built tracks, but several events take place on city streets. Formula One cars are the fastest regulated road-course racing cars in the world, owing to high cornering speeds achieved through the generation of large amounts of aerodynamic downforce.
The cars underwent major changes in 2017, allowing wider front and rear wings, wider tyres, resulting in cornering forces closing in on 6.5g and top speeds of up to 375 km/h. As of 2019 the hybrid engines are limited in performance to a maximum of 15,000 rpm and the cars are dependent on electronics—although traction control and other driving aids have been banned since 2008—and on aerodynamics and tyres. While Europe is the sport's traditional base, the championship operates globally, with 11 of the 21 races in the 2018 season taking place outside Europe. With the annual cost of running a mid-tier team—designing and maintaining cars, transport—being US$120 million, Formula One has a significant economic and job-creation effect, its financial and political battles are reported, its high profile and popularity have created a major merchandising environment, which has resulted in large investments from sponsors and budgets. On 8 September 2016 Bloomberg reported that Liberty Media had agreed to buy Delta Topco, the company that controls Formula One, from private-equity firm CVC Capital Partners for $4.4 billion in cash and convertible debt.
On 23 January 2017 Liberty Media confirmed the completion of the acquisition for $8 billion. The Formula One series originated with the European Grand Prix Motor Racing of the 1930s; the formula is a set of rules. Formula One was a new formula agreed upon after World War II during 1946, with the first non-championship races being held that year. A number of Grand Prix racing organisations had laid out rules for a world championship before the war, but due to the suspension of racing during the conflict, the World Drivers' Championship was not formalised until 1947; the first world championship race was held at Silverstone, United Kingdom in 1950. A championship for constructors followed in 1958. National championships existed in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s. Non-championship Formula One events were held for many years, but due to the increasing cost of competition, the last of these occurred in 1983. On 26 November 2017, Formula One unveiled its new logo, following the 2017 season finale in Abu Dhabi during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.
The new logo replaced F1's iconic'flying one', the sport's trademark since 1993. After a hiatus in European motor racing brought about by the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the first World Championship for Drivers was won by Italian Giuseppe Farina in his Alfa Romeo in 1950, narrowly defeating his Argentine teammate Juan Manuel Fangio. However, Fangio won the title in 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, his streak interrupted by two-time champion Alberto Ascari of Ferrari. Although the UK's Stirling Moss was able to compete he was never able to win the world championship, is now considered to be the greatest driver never to have won the title. Fangio, however, is remembered for dominating Formula One's first decade and has long been considered the "Grand Master" of Formula One; this period featured teams managed by road car manufacturers Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati. The first seasons were run using pre-war cars like Alfa's 158, they were front-engined, with narrow tyres and 1.5-litre supercharged or 4.5-litre aspirated engines.
The 1952 and 1953 World Championships were run to Formula Two regulations, for smaller, less powerful cars, due to concerns over the paucity of Formula One cars available. When a new Formula One, for engines limited to 2.5 litres, was reinstated to the world championship for 1954, Mercedes-Benz introduced the advanced W196, which featured innovations such as desmodromic valves and fuel injection as well as enclosed streamlined bodywork. Mercedes drivers won the championship for two years, before the team withdrew from all motorsport in the wake of the 1955 Le Mans disaster. An era of British dominance was ushered in by Mike Hawthorn and Vanwall's championship wins in 1958, although Stirling Moss had been at the forefront of the sport without securing the world title. Between Hawthorn, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Graham Hill, British drivers won nine Drivers' Championships and British teams won fourteen Constructors' Championsh