Sahara Force India looking forward to Malaysian GP

Paul di RestaKuala Lumpur: Sahara Force India’s Team Principal Vijay Mallya was disappointed with the Nico Hulkenberg incident in the Australian GP last Sunday but feels that these things keep happening in racing. Nico who had a good week prior to the race day was unfortunate enough to crash out in the first lap of the race.

He also praised Paul di Resta for picking up the first point of the season and said that they would take positive lessons from Australia and try to perform better in Malaysia. “Paul’s race was strong and he did well to pick up the final point. It’s difficult to judge much from the first race, but we have learned a lot from Melbourne and we will try and improve our race pace consistency this weekend in Malaysia,” said Mallya.

“What is clear is that all the teams around us are very closely matched in terms of absolute pace and even the smallest mistake in qualifying or the race can cost you several positions. It will be very competitive in the midfield, just as we predicted during the pre-season,” he further added.

Mallya is optimistic that Sepang would suit the characteristics of the VJ05 more than Melbourne and this weekend is a crucial one as it would help Force India in indicating where they stand in the pecking order.

Meanwhile Paul who picked up the first point of the season for his team said that it was good to be on the points and picking up a point would be priority in Malaysia as well. “We picked up a point in Melbourne at the very last moment, but we were quite fortunate with the way the last lap unfolded and so it was a nice surprise. As I said after the race, we struggled for consistent race pace in Melbourne and it will be interesting to see if we can improve on that this weekend on a circuit with very different characteristics,” he said.

New recruit Nico Hulkenburg who had a disappointing race day in Australia is ready to hit the Sepang track and said that he has already put Melbourne. “I’m glad that we have back-to-back races because I just want to get back in the car. Seeing how the race developed it was frustrating not to be out there fighting for points, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m now fully focussed on Malaysia because there’s no point thinking about what might have been,” Nico said

“The way the Melbourne weekend unfolded means that there are still a lot of questions to which I don’t know the answers yet. That’s because I didn’t do the usual heavy fuel runs in the wet on Friday and I didn’t get a feel for the performance of the tyres over long runs. All I can do is rely on the feedback from Paul and his race data, and try and learn as much from that,” he added.

Talking about the Sepang track in Malaysia, he said, “The lap has a nice variation of high and low speed corners and there are two long straights. So you have to find the right balance between top speed and having enough downforce for the corners. The high temperatures and the track surface also result in quite high tyre degradation so it’s important to find a race set-up that is quite easy on the tyres.”

By Indian Sports News Network