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Friday press conference – Indian GP - Pt.2

I don't think that if the teams which are running a little bit more behind or in the midfield get the possibility for more tests that it would increase their performance or put them in front of the current best teams. It's always a combination. If you look at Red Bull, they have a fantastic team with Adrian Newey who is a fantastically good designer, they have one of the best drivers in their car, and the team itself is also doing a very, very good job. That means that this combination has grown up in the last two years and it's not that you say now, for example, to any other team which is behind, 'OK, we give you more tests and then you will beat them.' It's that all the factors have to work together to build up a competitive team, and the reason why there are two or three teams in front, fighting for the championships, it's because they have got everything together and this takes time and there will always be some teams in front with another infrastructure, with better people, with better drivers and this is simply also in the history of the sport. If you remember before, there were the years when Ferrari was dominating, there was the Williams era, McLaren and that's always the case. I think that this year, especially this year, we have had fantastically good races with many position changes and although Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull have won the championship so early, the races themselves were very, very interesting and I think this is what the people want to see, with all the overtaking. Money was at the end.

Just two thoughts: first of all we don't expect any favours on the track, and I think it would be inappropriate to ask or suggest that. Where I do think the sport needs to work together is off the track and that includes the economics, so while I don't think we should get any advantage, I think that as a sport, as we discussed earlier, having a sensible control over the total spending is logical, I think.

I think on the engine side – because you have a frozen engine and blowing is forbidden next year, reliability is not so bad, it's nearly the same for all the teams now – I think you must wait until 2014 because in '14 you will have new regulations, new chassis, new engine, probably a lot of creativity and things will be completely different in '14. I think it will be something like a new F1 and the gap will be very big in comparison to now.

I think any such measures would basically distort the championship and the sport, so looking at our team itself, we know our strengths and we can be more flexible than bigger teams can, so we have to focus on them, seeing where the resources restriction is going, these kind of measures. We need to wait for our chance and we need to be there then.

I remember the time Toro Rosso won the race at Monza, beating everybody. We thought that Toro Rosso was one of us. It obviously proved itself quite differently so anything can happen in this sport, as you know, but I think I would agree with Franz in what he was saying, that we need to put everything together: the technical direction, the engineering, the research and development, the team, the drivers – everything's got to come together. It's not just a question of money. I don't believe that money alone can just buy performance. It's a lot more than that. If you look at the history of the various teams, where they started, where they are today, it shows you that there is an inbuilt, unpredictability here. As far as Sahara Force India is concerned, we're slowly moving up the ladder and we intend to continue to do that.

Q: (Dieter Rencken – The Citizen).
Vijay, in the last fortnight or so the team ownership has changed; 42.5% the Sahara Group, 42.5% yourself and 15% the Dutch interest. You've just referred to the team as Sahara Force India. This last week we've received an e-mail from your PR department requesting us to refer to it as Sahara Force India. Have you requested an official name change, because there's a Formula One Commission meeting coming up, or what is Sahara's status in the team title please?

The name hasn't changed. The chassis name remains the same. It's like Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. So there's no change of control, there's no change in the chassis name, so I don't require any permissions. Out of courtesy, we informed the FOM and the FOM have acknowledged our communication in the affirmative.

Q: (Atul Pateriya – Dainik Jagran).
Dr Mallya, the British newspaper The Independent quoted on the eve of the Indian Grand Prix, said in one sense India is a strange venue for a F1 race. Around thirty percent of the Indian population live on less than one pound a day; what would you like to say about that?

In every country there are the privileged and the under-privileged. We have under-privileged people in our country, but that doesn't mean that the country must be bogged down or weighed down. India is a progressive country, we have a strongly growing economy, a large economy. The government is doing all it can to address the needs of the poor or the under-privileged people but India must move on. Back in 1990, we consciously made a decision to integrate ourselves into the world economy, to open up from an era of total government control and so the country must move forward. The Commonwealth Games were held here in India, now it's F1. I'm sure there will be several more global events in our country, because this is a world class country in many ways. Sure we have our problems but those are being addressed.

It's often suggested and maybe The Independent newspaper of England is perhaps guilty of this as well, of treating F1 as if it was an elite sport. Obviously all international sport is elite in that athletes and teams have to perform at an extraordinarily high level of performance, but that is the only sense in which F1 is an elite sport. If you look at the people who participate in the sport, drivers and the rest of us, everyone is from normal backgrounds, work hard and I think actually, if you compare us with – dare I say it, Vijay? – if you compare the amounts that people earn in our sport compared with an IPL (Indian Premier League cricket) or English Premier League (football), it's a much more democratic and much more spread out kind of sport. So I think it's very important, on the eve of our Indian Grand Prix, it's very important to make the point: this is not an elite sport, it's a sport for the whole world. Six hundred million people enjoy it and many, many thousands of people participate in it.

Q: (S. S. ShreeKuma – The New Indian Express, Bangalore).
Dr Mallya, what are your expectations from this race?


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
26.05.2011- First Practice Session, Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Team Principal
Adam Parr, Chief Executive Officer, Williams F1 Team
Saturday Practice, Vijay Mallya (IND), Chairman and Managine Director Force India
31.01.2010 Valencia, Spain Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), Managing director BMW sauber F1 Team - BMW Sauber F1 Team Launch
20.05.2011- Press conference, Jean-Francois Caubet (FRA), Managing director of Renault F1
Friday, Press conference , Franz Tost, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Team Principal

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