Force India announces GP2 team tie-up


Posted on

| Written by

Force 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.”

2014 F1 season

Browse all 2014 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

25 comments on “Force India announces GP2 team tie-up”

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. Gustavo Sobrino
        7th February 2014, 17:25

        we do get GP2 and GP3 live and re-run races in mexico.

      2. I don’t live in Europe and I get to wacth GP2, GP3, F3… :)

    2. 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. 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?

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

        1. @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..

      2. 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.

        1. @sharoncom

          Daniel will be racing for Mercedes in DTM this year.

          1. Hopefully Juncadella can make steps forward in his second year of DTM the way Wickens did. He didn’t exactly light it up as a rookie, save for what should have been a podium at the Norisring.

          2. There is nothing stopping Juncadella from running in FP1, provided it does not clash with his DTN commitments. On the other hand, Abt and Regalia cannot take part in GP2 and Formula 1 at the sane race meeting.

    2. 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.

    3. @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. 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?

    1. maybe this tweet from Peter Allen gives some of the background there:

      Hilmer’s Formtech firm has been a supplier of Force India. Regalia’s father’s company supplies Force India’s teamwear.

    2. @bascb Force India’s karting programme does have an Indian karter, Jehan Daruvala, who won the British title last year. He’s being spoken of highly.

      1. Thanks @wsrgo, good to know. Would be great if he could really make it up the ladder then!

  4. 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. 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. 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.

    1. It’s H. Motorsport ;)

  8. This is a great aim!

Comments are closed.