Force India announces GP2 team tie-up

GP2

Force India GP2 car livery, 2014Force India are to join forces with GP2 team Hilmer Motorsport to help promote new driving talent.

Hilmer’s cars will carry the team’s colours and field Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt in this year’s championship.

Force India already runs the One From A Billion programme which aims to promote a racing driver from India to Formula One.

Team principal Vijay Mallya said the move was a “logical next step as we look to bring through the next generation of drivers and provide them with the opportunity to showcase their talent”.

“Our presence in GP2 moves us closer to having a holistic development programme to school drivers from grassroots karting to the higher echelons of professional motorsport.”

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25 comments on Force India announces GP2 team tie-up

  1. Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 7th February 2014, 13:13

    Now that’s a proper looking car :-)

    On the other side, I like how now teams are returning to have GP2 counterparts, just like they did in F3000. I remember Benetton, Williams, Minardi and Sauber had “junior teams”. Now we have Force India, Marussia and Caterham. Hate to say it but GP2 is shaping way better than F1.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 7th February 2014, 13:39

      So maybe it will get televised outside Europe and so-called motoring channels will have something other than re-runs of workshop unreality soap operas to show us.

    • R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 8th February 2014, 0:58

      Look, GP2 is pure entertainment and all, but half the field drives with rage blinders permanently on all the time, anyone who follows the series will tell you the talent pool is thinner now than it was several years ago because all the top young talent is either in FR3.5, GP3, DTM, or they’ve elected to spend actual time in F1 cars/simulators as a tester.

      It’s a dumpster fire. An entertaining dumpster fire with less gimmicks than F1, but a dumpster fire nonetheless.

  2. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 7th February 2014, 13:14

    So they are basically paying them to race in their colours? Is there a real connection between Force India and the drivers Facu Regalia and Daniel Abt?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th February 2014, 13:17

      I would almost suspect its more the Hilmer drivers paying to be able to drive a FP1 or young driver test session with FI really @force-maikel. Unless its Mercedes poaching Abt from Audi this way?

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 7th February 2014, 13:26

        I wouldn’t show much interest in Abt if I were calling the shots at Mercedes. He was a title contender in GP3, but it was only really because other drivers has some bad results. And while ART struggled in GP2 last year, Abt was way off the mark.

        No, I suspect Force India are trying to create a pipeline for talent. Regalia was fairly handy last year, but struggled with sponsorship for this season. With GP2 being a two-year campaign these days, I would wager Force India are priming Regalia to replace Hulkenberg.

        • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 7th February 2014, 16:54

          @prisoner-monkeys I’m not yet convinced by Regalia. He went three seasons in Formula BMW without a win (just one podium finish)..wasn’t at all impressive in Italian F3, but then had a decent 2012, finishing 7th in Auto GP and fourth in F3 Open. And then he had the incredible 2013.
          So the jury’s still out on him. Abt’s junior career has been far more impressive even if he’s taken rather small steps..

      • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 7th February 2014, 15:29

        I think Daniel Juncadella has the FP1 gig: as he’s not racing anywhere else one would presume he had that locked down (or paid for that privilege). The Young Driver tests are being discontinued.

    • Brian (@bealzbob) said on 7th February 2014, 13:30

      I’d imagine it paves the way for future more developed ties. They both now have the bare bones of a relationship/agreement and can look to develop on that.

      Force India get a lower formula proving ground for the talent they want to keep a close eye on and Hilmer become attractive to drivers as they now have a clear progression path into F1.

      I certainly see this as making Force India a somehow more ‘legitimate’ and long term contributor in F1.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 7th February 2014, 15:14

      @force-maikel it was rumoured here that Facu Regalia was pushing for a test role in the team while trying to get a GP2 car.

      So maybe yeah…

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th February 2014, 13:16

    Hm, interesting.

    Where is the money coming from though and will we really see any Indian drivers (from that karting program) growing into GP2 this way?

  4. Julien (@jlracing) said on 7th February 2014, 14:34

    Well this is a very good development for the GP2 championship.
    Hilmer was a decent team last year, but they were financially in trouble. Adrian Quaiffe-Hobbs replaced Robin Frijns in the middle of the season, because Frijns had no money and Adrian was well financed.
    Now that some of the GP2 teams have got support from a Formula 1 team (Caterham GP2 team, Marussia, Force India with Hilmer, McLaren/Honda with ART GP) the seats will be filled with real talents, instead of who has the most money to offer. Hopefully the GP2 teams will get more of these link-ups with Formula 1 teams. That will make the championship even more interesting as it already is.

  5. wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 7th February 2014, 14:44

    As an aside, this means that the 2012 GP3 vice champion is paired with the 2013 GP3 vice champion..
    If James Calado goes to DTM with Mercedes (he tested for them in the off season), then the 2010 GP3 vice champion (Wickens) and the 2011 GP3 vice champion could be teammates too..:)

  6. Paul (@frankjaeger) said on 7th February 2014, 15:18

    It’s good to see some increasingly stronger ties between the 2 series. I suppose it makes the transition to F1 a lot smoother and helps prevent headless rookies

  7. Almost read that Himmler Racing.

  8. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 8th February 2014, 1:32

    This is a great aim!

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