Force India – one of the undoubted surprises of the 2009 F1 World Championship campaign – has announced that it has parted company with former team principal Colin Kolles.
Kolles' contract with the Silverstone-based squad ended on 31 October, 2009, and the team has confirmed that it has not been renewed. The German was appointed managing director of Midland F1 when Russian billionaire Alex Shnaider purchased the Jordan Grand Prix outfit from Eddie Jordan back at the beginning of 2005, after personally helping with the sale of the team.
He remained on-board through the transitions to first Spyker and subsequently Force India, and the 42-year-old has assisted the various owners in running the team since 2005.
Kolles has held positions as team principal, director and managing director during his tenure at Silverstone, but he found himself marginalised somewhat when team owner Dr Vijay Mallya assumed the role of team principal for 2009. The qualified dentist also runs his own eponymously-named Kolles Racing sportscar outfit with a brace of ex-works Audi R10s in the Le Mans Series (LMS) and iconic, round-the-clock Le Mans 24 Hours.
'We thank Dr. Kolles for his contributions during his term and wish him success in his future endeavours,' read an official statement from Force India F1.
The traditional back-of-the-grid minnows stunned seasoned paddock observers when Giancarlo Fisichella qualified on pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps and tracked race-winner Kimi Raikkonen all the way to the chequered flag for the runner-up spot the following day. Team-mate Adrian Sutil similarly achieved a front row start just a fortnight later still for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, as the team ended the season placed ninth in the constructors' title chase, ahead of Red Bull 'junior' concern Scuderia Toro Rosso.