26 July 2011
Mallya praises top six showing
Vijay Mallya thrilled with Force India's first top six finish of the season in the German Grand Prix
Team principal Vijay Mallya has praised the progress made by his Force India team in recent events after Adrian Sutil secured the best result of the season for the Silverstone-based squad in Germany.
In his home race, Sutil made the most of a two-stop strategy to claim sixth place, beating both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher on merit for a result that allowed Force India to move back ahead of Toro Rosso in the championship standings.
Speaking following the weekend, Mallya said the performance was one of the best he has seen since taking control of the team and was a sign of the improvements made in recent events.
“It was certainly one of our better performances,” he said. “Over the last few years F1 has become ever more competitive. The gap between the cars has reduced quite a lot from what it was a few years ago. So in this new scenario we've shown that we are truly competitive. We could race with Mercedes, which I think is a big achievement for a team that probably operates on a quarter of their budget! So we're feeling really good today.
“We showed great promise from Monaco onwards. We were competitive in Canada, where at one stage Paul was running fifth or sixth. Then both the drivers had moments and did not finish. In Valencia Adrian scored points, and at Silverstone once again there was no reason why both cars should not have finished in the points, but we just messed it up on the pit wall. Everything came together in Germany.”
Mallya added that he was hopeful that Paul di Resta's clash on the opening lap would be the end of the team's bad luck, with hopes high of a strong result this weekend in Hungary.
“For Adrian to finish sixth, in front of both Mercedes cars, we have every reason to be very proud,” he continued. “Unfortunately Paul had this incident with Nick Heidfeld, otherwise he would have been in the points as well. We've had our fair share of bad luck, so I hope that stops now! What happened to Paul was clearly bad luck, no fault of his at all. Both drivers have said they are very happy with the car, happy with the team, and I was pretty happy to see a greatly improved step up in performance on the pit wall today. The strategy was planned right and executed right, so I'm pleased.
“We have a lot more downforce than we did, so I feel quite confident that we can put up a good show. We have a small development for Hungary, we have a special Monza package, and we want to do some serious development in time for Singapore and beyond for the flyaway races. So I'm greatly encouraged.”
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