Sahara Force India
team boss Vijay Mallya says he is hopeful of a double score from his drivers in the Bahrain Grand Prix
this weekend to make up for a missed opportunity in Shanghai last weekend.
Although Paul di Resta picked up a solid points finish in China, Adrian Sutil
failed to score after being forced into retirement following a collision with Esteban Gutierrez.
With di Resta having taken a top six finish at the Sakhir circuit last season, Mallya said he was hopeful of a strong weekend for the Silverstone-based squad as it seeks to strengthen its championship position ahead of the return to Europe.
"Last weekend's race in China left us with mixed feelings,” he admitted. “The pace of the VJM06 was evident throughout the sessions and we would have been on track to place both Paul and Adrian in the points had it not been for the unfortunate accident with Gutierrez in the opening stages.
“Paul's pace, especially when he had clear air, was indicative of the quality of the work done by the team. We were also very satisfied by the good job done in the pits with a clean and fast final stop helping Paul emerge ahead of Grosjean and Hulkenberg after a race-long battle.
“We now head to Bahrain, where last year we had an excellent result with Paul finishing sixth. This track, with its high temperature and smooth surface, has generally suited our car and we hope this will be the case this weekend. With a bit more luck, we will be able to fully exploit the potential of our car and get some more points on the board before the European leg of the season."
Di Resta meanwhile admitted that the team still needs to find more pace in its car despite the encouraging start to the new season.
“A bit more speed, as we always do!” he replied when asked what the team needed. “We need a clearer weekend; we don't need things to go wrong, as they did in FP3 in China. It lost us a session, lost us a fewhundredths, and that would have made the difference to put us out of position in qualifying to have an easier first lap. So that will be the plan - to be more consistent.”