The whole team came together to celebrate our fourth place

When the Force comes together

These are the days that make all the hard work worth it.

For all the podium champagne, the plaudits from TV pundits and the trophies in the cabinet, it is only when you get together with the whole of the team – the factory staff, the wind tunnel people, the hundreds of faces and names that contribute to the team’s success – that the magnitude of your achievements sinks in.

Fourth place in the championship, against giants of the sport. You read the pride in your colleagues’ expressions, you see eyes sparkling up and large, happy grins on everyone’s faces: you know you have achieved what very few people outside the team thought was possible when we first rocked up, on a cold February morning, for our first test of the season in Barcelona.

As our 380-strong staff gets together at our HQ in Silverstone for a celebratory toast with the team’s senior management, you can feel pride in the air. Fourth place and a new points record, a 173 tally that eclipsed what we had achieved in our previous highest-scoring season: not bad for the team that likes to spring a surprise. Some may say “punching above their weight”, but we prefer to think as if this is our level, this is where we want to be for years to come.

Everyone in the team gathers around Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya. The Boss has great words for our work, complimenting each and every one of the team’s employees. You can hear the emotion and the pride in the voice of the man whose vision created the team. But our job is not done: Dr Mallya is targeting even more success for the team in years to come. Having been defined “the pound-for-pound world champion” team by some of the most authoritative commentators in the sport, we can now look at the next step in our progression: 2017 will be our 10th season in the sport, and our rise and rise, from humble beginnings in 2008, can continue.

Glasses are raised; smiles and laughter fills the air as we all pose for a big commemorative group photo. It’s time to celebrate now, but our work in F1 is not done yet. The indomitable team spirit that resides in us is pushing us forward to our next objectives. In 2017, the Force will be back for more.