F1 »

Mallya insists Force India not 'lucky' in Germany


Force India F1 owner Dr Vijay Mallya was sufficiently impressed with his team's step forward at the Nurburgring to suggest that Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella will be fixtures in the second phase of qualifying for the remainder of the season.

Speaking in the build-up to this weekend's Hungarian round, Mallya recalled pre-season claims that Force India would gain strength as the campaign progressed and said that the technical upgrade fitted to the VJM02 in Germany could be the turning point that sees his squad threaten for points in the remaining eight races. Sutil achieved the team's highest-ever qualifying position, having made it into the final phase of qualifying for the first time, and Fisichella finished within seconds of the last point-scoring place, prompting Mallya to be confident that Hungary might finally see the team open its account.

"I genuinely think that we are Q2 contenders for the rest of the season and, with Hungary being a circuit where qualifying is so crucial, we're in with a shot of a good finish," he insisted, "We're so close to points we can almost touch them. It has to be soon.

"I am confident that Germany was not just a one-hit wonder for us. We always said that the first few races would be compromised by the late signing of the McLaren and Mercedes deal but, since then, we've been introducing new upgrades and each one has been a step forward. We had hoped that this progress would be reflected at Silverstone but, due to events on track, we couldn't show the full potential. In Germany, this is what you saw."

While cynics have suggested that Sutil got lucky with the weather in making it to the top ten shoot-out at the Nurburgring, Mallya insists that the team has genuinely improved enough to be in with a shot of making the top half of the grid.

"Over the course of the season so far, we've calculated we've improved by something like 1.7 seconds, which I don't think any other team has done - and it's been done by solid hard work and not just getting lucky," he maintained, "Everyone else had the same opportunities to make those calls [in German GP qualifying], and Adrian had a superb qualifying - as we saw in Q3, even on a very heavy fuel load, he was one of the quicker cars.

"In the dry race, both Giancarlo and Adrian were able to lap quickly and keep pace at various times with the Ferraris, Renaults and McLarens, so we're not just competitive in the wet, we're genuinely on the pace now."

As in Monaco 2008, however, there was to be no happy ending for Sutil but, despite the German being taken out of his home race, Mallya remained encouraged by the team's all-round performance.

"In that split second when Kimi [Raikkonen] and Adrian came together, of course the whole team was disappointed - and, of course, those memories of Monaco 2008 came forward," he admitted, "All the same, I don't think we can be downhearted about the weekend performance and dwell too much on that point. We qualified in the top ten, we raced in the top five and we went some way to shirking off this reputation of being the backmarkers who only get seen while being lapped."

Force India will have another couple of developments on its cars in Hungary this weekend, including some tweaks to the front wing and brake ducts, and some minor changes on the mechanical side. The only other modifications are a couple of measures to address the likely cooling demands of the Hungaroring.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM02, German F1 Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 10-12th, July 2009
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 fans
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


cris - Unregistered

July 21, 2009 12:18 PM

I really hope so... I am all for Force India being competitive.. They deserve it. If Sutil did'nt hit Kimi, he would have been at least 6th to 8th place and earning them points. Sutil did a good job on a heavy car in a 1 pit stop strategy. Hats of to them and hope they score this weekend.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.