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Mallya confident as Force India hits century
4 June 2013
Vijay Mallya says he is hopeful of another strong weekend for Sahara Force India in Canada as the team prepares to compete in its 100th race in F1.
The Silverstone-based team heads to Montreal on the back of a strong race in Monaco last time out, with Adrian Sutil taking a strong fifth place and team-mate Paul di Resta recovering from a disappointing qualifying to also add to his points tally.
It means Force India was able to retain its fifth place in the championship standings ahead of McLaren and Mallya admitted that the result in the principality left confidence on a high ahead of the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
“The emotions of Monaco are still fresh in our memory as our attention turns to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix,” he said. “Both our drivers and the team performed superbly on the streets of Monte Carlo and it is very satisfying to see us fifth in the Championship after a third of the season.
“The race in Monaco showed the sheer class of our two drivers, and probably helped silence some critics of the team. Adrian's moves on two former World Champions will stay in our memories for a long time, and so will Paul's determined performance as he went from 17th to ninth.
“I think we are now knocking on the door of our first podium finish since 2009, and it's time to do that all-important step. Montreal would be a great place to do so – it is a track that favours overtaking and our car has shown the race pace to finish among the leaders, so everything is possible.”
Mallya added that he was proud of the way the team had performed so far this season, with points scored in every race bar Malaysia.
Di Resta and Sutil will now seek to maintain that run in Canada in what will be the 100th race for the team under the Force India name.
“I am proud of everyone in the team because we have achieved good results – and claimed 44 points – despite some very unfortunate occurrences,” Mallya continued. “With a bit more luck, we would be even further ahead of McLaren: but the focus is on the future. We know our rivals will be more competitive in the next few rounds, but we have shown we can mix with the big teams and we intend to do so for the coming races too.
“The Canadian Grand Prix also marks the 100th Grand Prix for Sahara Force India. When we started back in 2008 we simply had the ambition to break out of Q1 and we dreamed of scoring points. Seeing where we stand today is therefore extremely rewarding and motivates us all to continue working just as hard for the next 100 races.”
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