Force India team principal Vijay Mallya says the new F1 regulations have been “a massive challenge” for the team.
With the new V6 turbo power units and fresh technical regulations leading to a major overhaul of the cars, pre-season testing has seen a number of teams struggling to get to grips with the new formula early on. However, Force India has enjoyed a strong pre-season and Mallya believes the work that has been put in behind the scenes prior to this year is now paying dividends.
“It's been a massive challenge, especially for a smaller team like ours,” Mallya said. “That was why we put so many plans in place early last year to be ready for what has become a very different Formula One. All the hard work has paid off, but it has been a very steep learning curve and a huge undertaking to get where we are today.”
And Mallya believes the increased costs that have resulted from the new regulations are worth it for the sport's future.
“It's the first time for many years that Formula One has been properly aligned with the automotive industry. The prospect of Formula One driving forward technical advances for road cars is a very exciting one.”
Looking ahead to the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Mallya said he is excited by the unpredictability that now surrounds the sport.
“It's never easy to make predictions and this year there are so many more unknowns than usual. I think we can arrive in Melbourne feeling happy about the work we've done over the winter. How that will translate to a race weekend is hard to say, but I think it's important that an element of unpredictability has returned. There is plenty of interest around Formula One at the moment and that's a good thing.”