German GP: Force India preview
Sahara Force India looks forward to round nine of the season at the Nurburgring.
Team Principal, Vijay Mallya, sums up the mood in camp ahead of the German Grand Prix.
Paul qualified a fantastic fifth at Silverstone, but was sent to the back of the grid. How frustrating was it to lose such a good position?
The qualifying penalty was most disappointing for us. We celebrated our 100th Grand Prix in Montreal, we know the rules, and we respect the rules. After FP3 we weighed Paul and the car and everything was fine. So to find out after qualifying that the weight was 1.5kgs below the minimum was truly a shock. We made our representations to the stewards, we said there could be an error, and asked if we could be given the benefit of the doubt. The stewards decided to penalise Paul and we accepted it, and started at the back of the grid.
Were you happy with the outcome of the race, given that Adrian ran as high as third for a while?
I’m quite satisfied with seventh and ninth. Paul had to come in for a new nose after he clipped Nico [Hulkenberg], so it was a bit of a messy race, but to start at the back and come home in the points was a great effort. Overall we qualified fifth and seventh, which we were obviously very pleased about, and notwithstanding Paul’s penalty, both cars finished in the points. That proves we have a competitive car, which showed in the race itself. At the last safety car we left Adrian out and tried to push it to the end: it was only in the last few laps that he got overtaken by the Ferraris. But that’s the way racing goes.
What are your thoughts on the tyre situation?
If the FIA decides that for the whole sport it’s a safety issue and something needs to change, that’s why the FIA is there. That’s the job of the FIA. They have the technical resources to determine if it’s a safety issue, and that something needs to be done.
The team is battling for fifth place with McLaren. Can we stay ahead?
We are now 22 points ahead of McLaren: they are on 37, and we have 59. It’s all very well to say we are widening the gap, but McLaren is such a formidable team, with such a fantastic track record, they can wipe out that entire gap by winning just one race. I would not take it for granted that we will hang on to fifth, but we will make every attempt.
What are your thoughts ahead of the German Grand Prix?
We expect to carry our form into this weekend. In the last few races we’ve seen our speed and we’ve managed to get Paul in the points on three occasions from the back of the grid. It’s a home race for Adrian, a track he enjoys, and we will go there determined to continue our run of finishes with two cars in the points.