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Mallya: 'Blindingly quick' Force India can shine at Monza

Having stunned seasoned Formula 1 observers with its pace in the hands of Belgian Grand Prix runner-up Giancarlo Fisichella at Spa-Francorchamps, Force India can now shine again in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in just under a fortnight's time, contends chairman and team principal Vijay Mallya.

Having gone 29 races without troubling the scorers at the highest level, the Silverstone-based squad broke its points duck in style in the Ardennes, as Fisichella shocked the paddock with pole position and then went on to track winner Kimi Raikkonen all the way to the chequered flag on race day.

Indeed, the experienced Italian might well have gone even better had it not been for an early safety car period to allow for the opening lap mêlée to be cleared up – allowing Raikkonen to get a run at Fisichella at the re-start and simply drive by on the run down to Les Combes by dint of pressing his KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) power boost button. From there on in, though, the plucky Roman refused to let the Ferrari get away from him – and Mallya reckons the high-speed straights of Monza could witness more of the same.

“Why not?” mused the Kingfisher Airlines billionaire in an interview with Reuters. “We know that the car is quick – blindingly quick I would say. The sector times show it, and I think the Monza track will suit us.”

Indeed, as the fastest circuit on the annual F1 calendar, Monza should play to the strengths of the Mercedes-Benz engine that powers Force India's VJM02 challenger – and Brawn GP's world championship leader Jenson Button reckons the traditional back-of-the-grid minnows could just be set for another bumper weekend.

“It's going to be more the McLarens and the Force Indias, because they are good on low downforce,” the British star opined, when asked who is likely to occupy the leading spots in Italy. “Kimi will also be quick, and I don't know who else is going to be in the other Ferrari.”

According to the paddock rumour mill, it could be Fisichella, following Luca Badoer's second distinctly underwhelming performance in quick succession at Spa. That would likely lead to countryman Vitantonio Liuzzi being promoted from his habitual reserve role into the cockpit of the #21 car alongside Adrian Sutil at Monza – but three-time grand prix-winner Fisichella insists that he remains firmly focussed on the job in-hand.

“Our speed on the straight is usually very good,” pointed out the 36-year-old, “and Monza is a very high-speed circuit. Obviously we will have a proper package for Monza, and it looks very promising. It looks very good.

“I'm not saying that we will repeat a result like [at Spa], which would be fantastic, but obviously getting into the top ten and scoring points would be another fantastic result.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Vijay Mallya and Giancarlo Fisichella celebrate Force India`s historic second-place finish in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps [pic credit: Force India F1]
22.06.2017 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
22.06.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
22.06.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
22.06.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
22.06.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
22.06.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
22.06.2017 - Press conference, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
22.06.2017 - Press conference, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren MCL32
22.06.2017 - Press conference, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
22.06.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08 detail
22.06.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
22.06.2017 - Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
22.06.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
22.06.2017 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
22.06.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
22.06.2017 - Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
22.06.2017 - Scuderia Ferrari SF70H, detail

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livefreeordie - Unregistered

August 31, 2009 9:25 PM

I think he's jumping the gun a bit. Even Jordan managed a victory or two, so I classify this one as a lucky week-end, in need of a confirmation. Wishful thinking doesn't make a "blindingly quick" team... And like the previous poster, yes, need to change the name. It sounds as bad as "Super" Aguri. There was nothing "super" about that waste of a team, just dreaming about being "super". Mind you the Japs have a nack for superlatives.

Alan D - Unregistered

September 01, 2009 3:04 AM

Ferret, the situation with points money is that a team has to score at least one point in order to get their travel expenses paid for the following year. So when they talk about the enormous costs of entering F1, remember that small teams can spend several years in the sport before they see a penny out of Bernie. Making spec cars and Cosworth engines won't change that. I'd feel each team should get the same share of the pot, regardless of whether they win the championship or finish last. They all contribute to the show, and established teams earn more in sponsorship.

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