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Force India realistic ahead of Fuji.

Last year's Japanese Grand Prix provided the first concrete evidence that Dr Vijay Mallya would become a Formula One team owner in 2009, and the renamed Force India returns to Fuji hoping that it can emulate predecessor Spyker.

Although the name change would not take effect until the start of the 2009 campaign, the handing over of power took another step forward this time last year with the completion of due diligence formalities with the Mallya/Michiel Mol partnership - just at the time that Spyker finally broke into the top eight courtesy of current FIF1 driver Adrian Sutil.

"It was amazing how something that other teams seem to take for granted - just one point - really lifted morale," team principal Colin Kolles reflected, "But Japan was also a special place for another reason as we were entering the final stages of due diligence with the Mol and Mallya partnership [which] secured the team for the long future. I have very good memories of this race.

"I don't think you can underestimate the value of having security. Everyone involved knows that you can talk long-term, rather than just in six months or even a year, and this has really helped us move forward. We can now try and put in place long-term partnerships and plans which are paying off.

"But we have progressed in so many different ways. Commercially, we have a real marketable product and are a viable sponsorship prospect in a huge market. The company is financially in safe waters.

"However, in terms of performance, although the package improved, we have not achieved our targets. But this makes us work even harder to achieve the targets in the near future. We still have some way to go and, all the same, we are working to the end of the season as there are still chances there - I don't think anyone would be satisfied if we didn't get any points on board. Obviously, we have to try the maximum to score points, [but] you won't find anyone giving up just yet."

After the joy of seeing Giancarlo Fisichella escape into the second phase of qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix, it was back to 'normality' for Force India in Singapore, and seeing both cars at the back of the grid was particularly galling for team owner Mallya, who was hoping for a better showing at a race with a large Indian audience. However, even after a trying weekend that saw both drivers hit the wall at some point, he refuses to be downhearted.

"I am a great optimist," he insisted, "In any situation, there are positives and, even though you cannot gloss over problems, you really need to build on the good parts and make sure that the negatives are not repeated. Yes, we were off the pace in some sessions. Yes, we didn't get two cars to the finish but, as a team, we functioned very well.

"Accidents can, and always will, happen, but getting Fisi's car out again and then getting him to the finish, having run in third place, was an achievement. It was a tough weekend for everyone, but we all pulled together. That's the sign of a good team."



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, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
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, 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, 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, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 fans
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
26.11.2016 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09

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