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Force India 'determined' to go to 'next level'

Force India chairman and team boss Dr Vijay Mallya sets bar high after finishing 2009 on a 'real high note'.
Force India F1 chairman and boss Dr Vijay Mallya has said that his team will be targeting regular points' and the odd podium during the F1 2010 season.

The Force India F1 team made a lot of progress at the end of last year and now the Silverstone-based outfit will be out to build on that momentum. Indeed with Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi both retained the squad has high hopes that it can score more points and add to the 13 notched up last season.

"We finished 2009 on a real high note - our first-ever points, a podium and one place up in the constructors' championship. That is enough in itself to set the bar much higher this season, but we're really determined to take it to the next level," Mallya vowed ahead of the first race in Bahrain this coming weekend.

"Regular points and the odd podium have got to be the aim and we know it is possible. I have a lot of faith in the drivers and the technical staff, I think we've got into a very good rhythm together now."

Asked what has made the difference for the outfit, Mallya was keen to emphasise that there was something to build on after what was achieved by the Mercedes-powered VJM02.

"The key point was that last year we had a good baseline car and we improved throughout the year in a very structured manner," he continued. "In the second part of the season we were very successful - at times we even had a potential winning car - and with that in mind we went into the winter and developed this foundation as much as possible.

"That stability is crucial and we have been able to focus 100 per cent on emphasising the strong points while addressing the weaker areas. I think Mark [Smith – technical director] and his team have done an excellent job.

"I have been very encouraged by the entire performance, both at the track and at the factory [over the winter]. The testing times gave very positive headlines, although it is very difficult to know where we are until we get to Bahrain.

"Certainly however the initial reports from the drivers are encouraging and when that happens it's worth another three to four tenths - if they feel happy and confident in the car then that they can really attack."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Vijay Mallya (IND) Managing Director, Force India F1, Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Montreal, 6th-8th, June, 2008
Vijay Mallya (IND) Managing Director, Force India F1, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 14-16th, March, 2008

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Dean Dean

March 09, 2010 3:01 AM

I understand what's being said here by Mallya but he rather sidetracked the big question of what was the major influence on the car in the second half of season.This was as dramtic as I can remember..I remember listening to a team director,Ian Phillips, saying they really excited and that they now had a 'really good race car'( they qualified poorly and the results were a best of top 10 I remember in Valencia,when he made the comment).Two weeks later it was an about turn of massive magnitude for both cars at Spa and so the results continued.Sad that Phillips has recently been 'let go' because it was to him the media went to to explain the cars good fortunes,Mallya's ego was somewhat deflated.

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