2007 Spyker F8-V11/Force India VJM01
Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | April 16, 2023
Spyker F1 bought out the Midland F1 team late in the 2006 Formula One season. This was a big leap for what was already a struggling boutique road car manufacturer. 2007 would be the team’s only full year running under the Spyker name.
Late in the 2007 season, Vijay Mallya stepped in to buy the financially doomed team, and it would be renamed Force India for 2008. Spyker raced their Ferrari-powered F8-VII (and VIIB) for the season with drivers Adrian Sutil (who scored Spyker’s only championship point) and Christijan Albers. Albers was let go halfway through the year and was replaced by Markus Winkelhock (for one race) and Sakon Yamamoto for the rest.
Force India’s first F1 entry was the VJM01, which was just an updated version of the previous year’s Spyker chassis. So they literally just updated the existing cars and reused them for the season. This particular chassis, VJM01-04, was a Spyker in 2007 and a Force India in 2008. It’s competition history includes:
- 2007 French Grand Prix – 17th (with Adrian Sutil)
- 2007 British Grand Prix – 15th (with Christijan Albers)
- 2007 European Grand Prix – 17th, DNF (with Markus Winkelhock)
- 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix – 22nd, DNF (with Sakon Yamamoto)
- 2007 Italian Grand Prix – 20th (with Yamamoto)
- 2007 Belgian Grand Prix – 17th (with Yamamoto)
- 2007 Japanese Grand Prix – 12th (with Yamamoto)
- 2007 Chinese Grand Prix – 17th (with Yamamoto)
- 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix – 21st, DNF (with Yamamoto)
- 2008 Monaco Grand Prix – 18th, DNF (with Giancarlo Fisichella)
- 2008 Canadian Grand Prix – 14th, DNF (with Fisichella)
The highlight there is the 2007 European Grand Prix, one that featured a monsoon that saw a large number of the field end up in the gravel right after the start. Winkelhock pitted for wet tires at the end of the formation lap, a move that led to him leading the race when all hell broke loose. Then it was red-flagged and he lost his advantage, eventually retiring with electrical issues, probably because of the rain. It was Winkelhock’s only F1 start.