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Mallya: Force India closing on podium

Vijay Mallya says he thinks Force India is closing in on fighting for a podium finish
Force India boss Vijay Mallya says his team is closing in on fighting for a podium finish on the back of a strong performance in the European Grand Prix.

Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta both qualified inside the top ten on the streets of Valencia, and then took the flag in fifth and seventh – giving the Silverstone-based squad its highest points score from a race so far this season.

That result has also seen the team close to within a point of Williams in the constructors' championship and Mallya said there were a number of reasons why Hulkenberg and di Resta had been able to race strongly on the street circuit.

“We knew that this season's unpredictability has been mainly down to the tyres, so tyre management is critical,” he told the official F1 website. “Therefore we spent all our energy on Friday and Saturday analysing potential tyre performance in various track temperatures. That helped us decide to put one car on a one-stop strategy. It looked almost impossible, but we said that if we don't try it we are never going to know where the boundaries of the tyres are in hot conditions.

“Nico Hulkenberg was on a traditional two-stop strategy and had the opportunity to pit under the safety car. So guts and luck came together. We are really proud of the result, even though it was a bitter pill when Nico Rosberg overtook Paul (di Resta) on the last lap. But his tyres were old - and Rosberg had fresh tyres. But there is nothing to complain about. It was a good result and we've bagged 16 important points. We are only one point shy of Williams right now and 16 points away from Sauber, who have had podium finishes. So we are getting there. We are definitely on target. I want to finish fifth in the constructors' championship this year and - fingers crossed - it looks like we're getting there.”

Plans are already in place for more upgrades to be introduced for the team's home event at Silverstone, with Mallya insisting that the team was heading into the British Grand Prix with one aim.

“We regard Silverstone as one of our home races,” he said. “Our headquarters is just a stone's throw from the track. It is our home race in Europe and of course the Indian Grand Prix is our real home race in India. We will do whatever it takes to bring as many upgrades as possible to be even more competitive. That goes without saying.

“We want to be on the podium. I think we're close to it now.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.06.2012- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
24.06.2012- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
24.06.2012- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
18.09.2014 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
18.09.2014 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
18.09.2014 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
18.09.2014 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
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18.09.2014 - Press conference, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
18.09.2014 - Press conference, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
18.09.2014 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
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Taz

June 26, 2012 1:32 PM

@RawPace Your name is ironic considering they showed raw pace at Valencia, might take a little luck but they could make the podium, 2 good young drivers. Dodgy owner but you can't have everything.

Mike - Unregistered

June 27, 2012 4:19 AM

The other mid table teams don't have drivers of the caliber of DIR and HULK so it could work out if they get massively lucky and the cars around them get massively unlucky. I won't put a big money bet on it.



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