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Mallya looking forward to Singapore home race


Force India team owner Dr Vijay Mallya has admitted that he is hoping his squad draws strength from the success of fellow minnow Scuderia Toro Rosso as it prepares for what he feels could be the most unpredictable event of the season.

Having already claimed that Sebastian Vettel's victory in the Italian Grand Prix had served as an inspiration as his own team struggles to break into the midfield battle, Mallya no doubt recalled Force India's Adrian Sutil running as high as fourth in Monaco as he looked forward to the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, but insisted that he was content to take progress one step at a time.

"It was fantastic that F1 proved that the independent teams can win, and I could not be a happier man," he said of STR's success, "I went to Gerhard Berger and Franz Tost and congratulated them after qualifying and, of course, after the race, but it's a source of great inspiration for Force India as well. I hope to be in the same position next year.

"It was a brilliant feeling to have finally achieved one of our targets [by getting into Q2 at Monza], and to have done so in difficult conditions. The whole team had a great push just by seeing the car up there in P12, and it just goes to show that, if you get the strategy right and the drivers are motivated and hungry, you can achieve an unexpected result. I would have liked to get into Q2 a little earlier in the season, but it was a superb result all round and you cannot take that away. We worked hard to get it and I was delighted.

"I've been measuring the progress of this team. We need to be more competitive, but 2009 will be the real test. I've always said that we will take baby steps in 2008, such as getting into Q2, and I think we have managed to do that. We are racing now, we are beating the Hondas and the Williams. In 2009 we have no excuses, I know that, and I will make sure that we perform."

Asked whether this weekend's night race on the streets of a city he knows well could provide another highlight for Force India, Mallya would only go as far as predicting that nothing would be predictable, especially given the weather forecast.

"Singapore, definitely, could be a lottery," he admitted, "I've been a resident of Singapore for the last 25 years, and one thing I can tell you is that it rains every night. You don't have to pray for rain, it just comes!

"People say that rain suits Force India, but rain has the same effect on everybody. It doesn't give a special opportunity for us alone. If it's a challenge for other drivers, it's equally a challenge for our drivers."

As well as being at home in Singapore, Mallya is also delighted to have an early chance to showcase his F1 operation in front of a large Indian contingent ahead of his homeland's anticipated debut on the calendar in 2010.

"Absolutely, with the large Indian population and the proximity to India, it's something that we very much look forward to," he admitted, "For the companies that sponsor the car, and others as well, Singapore is going to be a big, big venue.

"It has rightfully aroused tremendous international interest - it's a new venue, the first night race and a street race, which are always hugely popular. I think it's going to be absolutely spectacular. They have built in a huge amount of entertainment as well and there will be bars and live music, and it will all be open well after the events on the track are over, so I think it promises to be a huge amount of fun. This is what F1 needs."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India VJM01, Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza, 12th-14th, September, 2008
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 leads Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12

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