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Anderson doubts Force India F1 podium hopes

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.”

TO LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW IN FULL: CLICK HERE
by Russell Atkins


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