Racing Point is the latest incarnation of the team that started life in 1991 as Jordan, the Silverstone-based team Eddie Jordan sold to Alex Shnaider in January 2005, thereby bringing the Irish team's F1 endeavours to an end after fourteen years. For that season the team continued to run as Jordan before morphing into Midland for 2006.
It was in September 2006, during the Italian GP weekend, that Shnaider sold the team to Spyker Cars NV, the Dutch high performance car manufacturer. One year later, days after the 2007 Belgian GP, it was officially confirmed that Spyker was selling the team to a consortium led by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya and Michiel Mol for 88m euros. The team, anticipating interest in F1 in India, was subsequently named Force India.
While the Sword of Damocles had been had been hanging over Force India for several years, in terms of the authorities in India who were seeking Mallya's extradition on fraud charges, the situation reached crisis point in mid-2018, when, in a move aimed to prevent legal action by another creditor which would probably have meant the end of the team, driver Sergio Perez seized the initiative and kick-started the administration process.
Consequently, the team arrived at Spa after the summer break with a revised name and new owners, a consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll - father of Williams driver Lance Stroll.
The new ownership was finalised on Thursday 16th of August, Stroll's co-investors being Canadian entrepreneur Andre Desmarais, Jonathan Dudman of Monaco Sports and Management, fashion business leader John Idol, telecommunications investor John McCaw Jr, financial expert Michael de Picciotto, businessman Lawrence Stroll and his business partner Silas Chou.
It was subsequently revealed that Force India had been on the verge of collapse owing £28.5m to 450 companies. Top of the pile of a list of creditors that included parts manufacturers, doctors, journalists, Toyota (wind tunnel use), delivery firms, drivers (for example Paul di Resta £348.86!!!), caterers, DJs and even various race tracks including Abu Dhabi, COTA and Monza, was Mercedes which was owed £13.7m for its engines.
Documents revealed that so dire was the situation, the team received "two loans from BWT, its main sponsor, of £757,000 and €535,000 to assist with its cash flow", the Austrian manufacturer of water treatment systems subsequently lending the team a further £5m to cover its July wages bill.
While Mercedes and Sergio Perez topped the list of creditors - the Mexican driver owed $4m - it was the money owed to HMRC and Formtech, a parts supplier which was owed £2.4m, that finally brought matters to a head.
The administrators (FRP), who had set a 6 August deadline, said they received five potential offers but only one of these was to buy shares in the team.
Step forward Stroll and his consortium, which immediately "provided a £15 million loan to the company to enable the ongoing payment of costs including the time critical development of the 2019 racing car... This enabled BWT to be repaid their loan of £5 million."
However, FRP still needed the approval of the banks by Friday 17 August, for on the Monday the Force India staff returned from the summer break and preparations for the Belgian Grand Prix would get underway. However, as it became obvious that the 17 August deadline could be met, FRP changed tack and instead of selling the shares in Force India, opted to sell the team's assets.
"By 14 August 2018 the required consents of the Indian banks had not been obtained," the documents reveal. "On 15 August 2018 Racing Point advised of their intention to proceed with a purchase of the company's business and assets for £90 million... On 16 August 2018 a sale of the company's business and assets was completed for a consideration of £90 million which was received in full at completion."
Revealing that it would receive 2.25% of the proceeds, which works out at a cool £2m, FRP said that "based on the assumptions made in the estimated outcome statement it is currently estimated that there will be sufficient funds available to pay all creditors in full."
Its debts paid and money in the kitty, the team celebrated in the best possible way, Perez and Esteban Ocon finishing 5th and 6th at Spa. Though there was another strong finish in Italy, and a significant upgrade finally introduced in time for Singapore, fortunes wavered in the final races as attention switched to 2019.
It wasn't all plain sailing however, in Austin Ocon was disqualified - after finishing 8th - for exceeding the fuel mass flow, while in Singapore the Frenchman was helpfully punted into the wall by his Mexican teammate.
In terms of the feuding duo, though things were nowhere near as bad as 2017, one would hardly describe the situation in 2018 as harmonious. If it wasn't Perez refusing to assist his teammate, it was Ocon refusing to help the Mexican, and in the wake of the Singapore clash there was renewed talk of team orders.
Following the buy-out, the team was embroiled in a bitter dispute with Haas over prize money, the American outfit stating that as a new team Racing Point wasn't entitled to it. The battle continues, but a late legal challenge by Haas relating to Intellectual Property appeared to back the American team's argument.
For 2019, Perez is joined by Lance Stroll, which, if nothing else, should ensure that tangles such as those witnessed with Ocon have far more significant repercussions.
Despite having appointed Otmar Szafnauer as team principal, Lawrence Stroll admits that he will be "hands on" in terms of management, his big plans for the outfit including a new factory and a desire to battle the big teams.
Staying true to its new Canadian influence, Racing Point is to launch its debut season in Toronto on February 13, at which time it's understood the new name and livery will be confirmed.
Now free of Mallya's legal issues and the money worries that went with them, it remains to be seen whether Racing Point can pick up where its predecessor left off, and hopefully punch even further beyond its weight.
Team Principal: Otmar Szafnauer
Chief Operating Officer: Otmar Szafnauer
Technical Director: Andrew Green
Sporting Director: Andy Stevenson
Production Director: Rob Halliwell
Aerodynamics Director: Simon Phillips
Chief Designer: Ian Hall
Chief Designer: Akio Haga
Co-founder and Board Member: Michiel Mol
Chief Race Engineer: Tom McCullough
Race Team Operations Manager: Mark Gray
Race Engineer (Sergio Perez): Tim Wright
No 1 Mechanic (Sergio Perez): Michael Brown
Race Engineer (Esteban Ocon): Bradley Joyce
No 1 Mechanic (Esteban Ocon): Will Vickery
Commercial Director: Stephen Curnow
Head of Communications: Will Hings
Communications Coordinator: Williams Ponissi
Senior Partner Manager: Kate Smithson
Partner Manager: Alison Budd
Partner Manager: Victoria Helyar
Head of Sales: Matthieu Strachan
Commercial Manager: Chris Gilkes
Chassis: Carbon fibre composite monocoque with Zylon legality side anti-intrusion panels.
Suspension: Aluminium uprights with carbon fibre composite wishbones, trackrod and pushrod. Inboard chassis mounted torsion springs, dampers and anti-roll bar assembly.
Wheels: BBS (Fr : 13" x 13.7" - Rr: 13" x 16.9")
Clutch: AP Racing
Tyres: Pirelli P Zero
Brake System: 920E brake calipers and in house design brake by wire system with Carbon fibre discs and pads
Electronics: FIA single ECU with in house design electrical harness
Overall width: 2000mm
Overall length: 5600mm
Overall weight: Overall vehicle weight 743kg (including driver, excluding fuel) Weight distribution between 45.4% and 46.4%
Engine PU supplier: Mercedes HPP
Engine PU spec: Mercedes-AMG F1 M10 EQ Power+ 1.6L v6 Turbo charged + energy recovery system
Transmission: Mercedes GP 8-speed, semi-automatic