Monza (Italy): Happy with Sahara Force India’s performance at Spa, Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and co-owner of Sahara Force India, said that his team is looking forward to the Italian Grand Prix in Monza.
Terming performance at Monza to be probably their most competitive showing of the year in terms of race pace, Dr Mallya said Nico ended the race just a couple of seconds behind Raikkonen and came very close to the podium.
“In terms of strategy, the pit wall called things perfectly and Nico did the rest by racing hard and making no mistakes. Spa was the fourth race this year when we’ve had two cars finish in the points. I’ve been saying this is what we need to do if we want to catch Sauber and recapture our sixth place finish in the championship. If Paul had not suffered with the KERS issue, I’m convinced we would have come away from Spa with even more points,” said Team Principal and co-owner of Sahara Force India, adding that competition has become even fiercer than last year.
“I remember this time last year saying that it was the most competitive season ever in the midfield – but this year has surpassed even that. Sauber and Williams have been on the podium and will continue to be strong in the remaining races. But at the same time I believe we have the car and the team to beat them. I also remember last year we performed better in the second half of the season so I’m optimistic for the remaining races,” said Dr Mallya.
Meanwhile ecstatic about his fourth place finish at Spa, Nico Hulkenberg said that it’s a great result for his team. “It’s my best finish in Formula One and the 12 points scored moved us up a place in the constructors’ championship. We clearly benefited from the start crash, but after that we were strong, had good pace and were able to fight a Red Bull, a Ferrari and a Lotus. So we made the most of the situation and deserved to pick up the points,” said Nico, adding that he was always in contention for the podium and when he got ahead of Raikkonen up into second place he thought it might be possible.
“The result shows that we are not too far away and with eight races to go we will try our best to get a podium before the end of the year. But yesterday was just one race and our focus is to try and repeat this sort of race pace for the rest of the year. I really enjoy Monza. It is the last high-speed circuit of the year and the atmosphere is just brilliant. Obviously every team brings a new wing configuration to Monza because the track is so unique, so we have to wait and see how our aero package performs there. The target remains more points on Sunday,” said Nico.
Talking about the challenge of the fastest circuit of the year, Paul Di Resta said it’s disappointing to lose KERS before a race. “Especially when you see the way the race developed. I’m sure we could have come away with more points if things had gone to plan. It’s one of those really special races and a venue where you can really appreciate the history of the sport. It’s also another place where the fans really get behind Formula One and always create a brilliant atmosphere,” said Paul.
Speaking on the feeling to drive on the fastest track of the year, Paul said, “It always takes a while to get used to the car because we run with a lot less downforce compared to any other circuit. Your braking distances increase and we’re travelling about 25 km/h faster than we do all year. So adapting to that quickly and getting up to speed is always a challenge.”
On the secret to a quick lap in Monza, paul said, “I think it’s mainly about getting the brakes right. You need to have your brake balance spot on and it’s not easy when you’re changing fuel load – especially in practice and on low fuel in qualifying. You also need to be aggressive and use the kerbs to get the laptime.”
By Indian Sports News Network