Under its current guise, Force India has only been competing in the F1 championship since 2008, after the teams' name change was sanctioned by the FIA, but the origins of the team go back to 1991.
The team was formed from what was originally known as Jordan Grand Prix, who had been active in the championship since 1991. Owner Eddie Jordan put the team up for sale and they were bought by the Midland group in 2005 and renamed Midland F1 Racing. After just a year the team was sold to the Spyker car company near the end of the 2006 season, however financial restraints saw the team being offered for sale yet again; just a year after Spyker took control. The price was 88million euro, much more than was originally paid, and this time it fell into the hands of Orange India Holdings group, with billionaire Indian business man, Vijay Mallya and existing board member Michiel Mol taking over.
Apart from the name and colour scheme, little changed for the 2008 season; Colin Kolles remained as team principal, Michiel Mol director of F1 racing and Mike Gascoyne chief technology officer. The team failed to achieve any notable results or score any championship points; Adrian Sutil came closest, holding fourth position at the Monaco Grand Prix until he was rear-ended by Kimi Raikkonen forcing him to retire just ten minutes before the end of the race.
Before the start of the 2009 season there was a management shake-up which saw Mallya take the role of team principal. The team also signed a deal to use Mercedes engines, however this did little to improve their fortunes, and by race 10 of the season the team had still yet to score a championship point.
Their fortunes changed in Belgium when Giancarlo Fisichella finally scored points for the team - in impressive fashion he finished second on the podium, bagging eight points for the team. Not to be outdone, Sutil followed this up with a fourth place in Italy to add another five points to the tally. With a total of 13 points, Force India finished second to last in the constructors' championship ahead of Toro Rosso. In 2010 it was a similar story, with car strong at circuits where good top-speed is important. Two fifth places from Sutil were the best it could achieve, but with a slightly more rounded car the team picked up regular points and just lost out on sixth place in the constructors' to Williams by one point.
2011 saw the team work on a more consistent car in the hope of being able to score points on every circuit. While the start to the season was slow, the VJM04 had a good baseline and improved as the year went on, leaving Force India breathing down the necks of Renault for fifth in the standings.