Mallya praises Force India’s “remarkable” performance

2011 F1 season

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Nurburgring, 2011

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Nurburgring, 2011

Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said the team’s recent performance has been “quite remarkable, and quite satisfying”.

One of their cars has beaten both the Mercedes in the last two races. Adrian Sutil finished sixth at the Nurburgring and Paul di Resta was seventh at the Hungaroring.

Mallya said: “We had a slow start to the season, because I think the first few flyaway races were just an extension of our development programme.

“But once we got going from the European season onwards, particularly from Monaco, we?ve improved almost every race.

“These last few races, where we have qualified in Q3, say it all. To be in the top ten in such a fiercely competitive field is quite remarkable, and quite satisfying.”

Mallya described Di Resta’s career-best finish in Hungary as “A great booster for his confidence, obviously.

“He?s been seeing Adrian score points while he?s been having a bit of bad luck. As team principal I want to see both cars come in the points.”

Force India took a shock pole position at the next venue on the calendar – Spa-Francorchamps – in 2009. Mallya said this year’s car has more well-rounded performance than the VJM02: “It was an absolutely fantastic moment to see the car in pole position in 2009 and Giancarlo Fisichella on the podium.

“But that car could only go very fast in a straight line, and pretty much didn?t do very much else! Now it?s doing everything that?s asked of it, irrespective of the track. I think that?s a better position to be in.

“The car is going to be quick, I think. If you look at the sector maximum speeds in the race in Hungary, in sector one Adrian was the quickest, and in sector three, Paul was the quickest. So this car has pace.

“But it also has good downforce to handle the corners as well. I?ll be looking forward to Spa, and hopefully a strong showing.”

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31 comments on Mallya praises Force India’s “remarkable” performance

  1. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 4th August 2011, 11:31

    For a team that was going backwards last year, it’s been a welcome turn-around. Can’t wait to see them at Monza.

  2. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th August 2011, 11:36

    It is indeed good to see, especially after the slump in the second half of last year, following the loss of some key people. It seems they recovered from that now.

    I also really think the McLaren cars of 2010 and 2011 were influenced by seeing how fast the FI could go, highlighting the usefulness of a `slippery` car – not just the F-duct (and in some ways DRS) were attempts to capitalise on that, but also the recent good top speed of McLaren.

    Of course, it does need to be balanced by a healthy amount of downforce to be competitive, but it means that overtaking becomes possible. Good to see FI now seemingly have found such a sweet-spot too. Arguably, the Mercedes cars still have to do so.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 4th August 2011, 11:38

      Yeah, now Mercedes became the slowest team among Mercedes-engined teams. What a silly situation.

    • timi said on 4th August 2011, 12:38

      bosyber, take a look at the speed trap readings for most races this season, more often than not, mclaren dont have too high a top speed. usually somewhere in the middle of all the teams

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th August 2011, 14:02

        Balance – they have usually decided to go for a lot of rear wing, in combination with their somewhat less efficient DRs, that accounts for not having the top speed.

        Even so, in Hungary McLaren were around in the fastest third of the field in FP1 and then dialled in more downforce, slipping lower. FI was in the top half for the whole weekend, because they don’t have the downforce of a McLaren.

        As I said, going back to balance: Mercedes lack downforce but do have a good DRS, that translates into top of speed traps, but lagging behind (now) part of the midfield in corners.

  3. Eggry (@eggry) said on 4th August 2011, 11:37

    Their improvement is impressive. I don’t think they would achieve what Fisi did 2009 though still expecting strong result.

  4. Great to see progress made by the team. I would love for them to fight for podiums at Spa and Monza, though that is unlikely. The gap between them and the top teams is bigger than it was two years ago, which is one of my problems with this year, the teams just aren’t as close as they used to be.

    • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 4th August 2011, 11:50

      Haha 2009 was a crazy year for tightness – I remember there being less than 2 seconds covering the whole grid at time!

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 4th August 2011, 14:05

        And that was with the DDD (or a RB5)! I imagine in the current climate the DDD would only have got Mercedes nipping at the heels of Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren instead of consistently outpacing them for half a season.

  5. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 4th August 2011, 11:49

    This is good to see. After they slumped last year and lost some key members of staff, I didn’t think they’d be anything more than a lower midfield team for some time.

    It’s great to see them having solid pace in the races and in qualifying, and having Di Resta in the team seems to have really given Sutil a kick up the backside – and he’s responding well.

    If Sutil can keep up his recent form and if Di Resta can iron out the rookie errors, then Force India will have a very strong driver line up for the foreseeable future.

    • JimN (@jimn) said on 4th August 2011, 12:58

      Force India have done well since their key people left, mostly to Team Lotus….and Team Lotus have done nothing special since those key people arrived…. Seems it’s difficult to tell from outside who the key people actually are ;-)

    • Not to mention the incredible Hulk waiting in the wings!

  6. Krit said on 4th August 2011, 12:00

    I’m chuffed to bits that Force India are doing so very well and just can’t wait for Spa and Monza. I’m hoping for a nice surprise at Spa but the top 3 cars are quite a bit faster.

    I always liked this team, what they achieved in just their second year (2nd place in Spa and a pole) and hoped they would carry on further from there. 2nd part of last year was disappointing but that’s expected seeing the movement of several team members. Looks like they’ve found a good balance with the resources they currently have. Here’s hoping for a shock podium!

  7. Widowfactory said on 4th August 2011, 12:32

    FI are becoming a credible mid-pack team, and a possible contender for ‘best of the rest’ if Renault don’t manage to get their act together. They haven’t had to be burdened with pay drivers like Williams or Renault and have 2 very good drivers as a result.

    • Patrickl said on 6th August 2011, 22:38

      Both Sauber and STR have also been “a credible mid-pack team, and a possible contender for ‘best of the rest’” at some point during the season.

  8. MGriffin90 (@mgriffin90) said on 4th August 2011, 13:02

    As usual, fiver on Force India for pole at Spa. I did it purely for a laugh in 2009 and got £250 out of it, LOL

  9. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 4th August 2011, 13:35

    It’s good to see Sutil back on the up, he was far too quiet last year. Hopefully Paul can remain consistent also.

  10. MaryP said on 5th August 2011, 9:15

    Is clear that this positions are very good for a car that allegedly should have been in another league at the bottom of the standings. We’ll see if the following races they can to stay ahead in good positions.

  11. GaryPirelli said on 5th August 2011, 19:04

    PDR is the surprise of the season.

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