Force India target 'home race' podium
27 June 2012 – After a strong performance in the European Grand Prix, Force India team principal Vijay Mallya is hoping new upgrades will help the team score their first Formula 1 podium. Nico Hulkenberg and Paul Di Resta finished fifth and seventh, achieving the team’s biggest points score of the season.
“Nico Hulkenberg was on a traditional two-stop strategy and had the opportunity to pit under the safety car, so guts and luck came together,” he said in an interview for Formula1.com. “We are really proud of the result, even though it was a bitter pill when Nico Rosberg overtook Paul (di Resta) on the last lap but his tyres were old and Rosberg had fresh tyres.”
Despite the team’s impressive result in Valencia, Mallya believes the drivers could have had an even better one after mistakes in qualifying.
“I was hoping for a better qualifying result, but in Q3 maybe both overdrove the car, locked up the wheels etc. So we started eighth and tenth while I was actually hoping to start in the top five.”
“I have never regretted my decision about the drivers. On the contrary, I think we have two potential world champions in this team. They are both exceptionally talented. I am very delighted to have them.”
The Silverstone based team now look forward to their second home race, India being the second.
“We regard Silverstone as one of our home races,” he said. “Our headquarters is just a stone’s throw from the track. We’ll do whatever it takes to bring as many upgrades as possible to be even more competitive. We want to be on the podium. I think we’re close to it now.”