Respected former Formula 1 designer Gary Anderson has poured cold water on Force India's suggestion that it could potentially luck into a podium finish in Formula 1 in 2009 – arguing that Vijay Mallya's pockets are not 'as deep as they need to be'.
Force India has been through a number of mutations in recent years, from Jordan Grand Prix to Midland F1 to Spyker and now its current guise, and Anderson – who spent a good deal of his career in the top flight in the employ of the Silverstone-based squad – hopes that this time around, the management is there to stay.
Repeated instability has scuppered the plucky minnows – who secured a one-two finish with Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps only eleven years ago, and went on to triumph twice in the hands of Heinz-Harald Frentzen the following season – in recent campaigns, but if Mallya is keen to stay the course, then improvements should follow, Anderson contends. If not necessarily podiums.
“He's worthy of staying,” the Ulsterman told Crash.net Radio
, “but it's one of those situations. The team is the smallest team in reality in Formula 1; okay, Toro Rosso have fewer people, but they get their car built by someone else.
“It's a team that I believe still can do a good job. They've got a good bunch of guys, with Mark Smith and James Key and so forth – all that lot are good guys and clever people, but they need stability on the management side.
“You don't need the biggest budget in the world, but you need a stable budget; you need to know how you can spend it. If Vijay gives them that confidence and that stability to plan the spend and plan a cost-effective development programme, then I think they can become a good, solid midfield team and score some points.
“For Vijay to be saying there will be podium finishes this year or next year – well, he'll need some very deep pockets for that, I think, and I'm not sure they're as deep as they need to be. Stability is step one; that's what they want. Give them that and let them move from there.”
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