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Malaysian GP: Force India aiming to race against the established front-runners


By Berthold Bouman

Malaysian GP: Force India aiming to race against the established front-runners - Photo: Sahara Force IndiaA great result for Force India last weekend, returnee Adrian Sutil fought with the front-runners while leading the race, but as his super soft tyres wore out more quickly than expected, Sutil had to settle for seventh place, but Force India have shown that they are right on  pace at the start of the season, and are of course hoping for more.

Team Principal and Team Owner Vijay Mallya: We must keep progressing

“Last weekend’s race in Melbourne was a great demonstration of how far the team has come lately: to race against the established front-runners on merit shows the quality of our car, of our driver line-up and of the work everyone in the team is producing every day, whether at the factory or at the circuit,” Team Principal Vijay Mallya said.

And the Indian entrepreneur added, “With improved results come increased responsibilities: the whole world of Formula One — our rivals, the media and the fans — now look at Sahara Force India as a competitor for points at every race. It is our duty to sustain this scrutiny by going out every day and performing to our best to keep challenging the top teams in the world.”

Great result for Force India in Australia - Photo: Sahara Force India

Great result for Force India in Australia – Photo: Sahara Force India

But he also issued a warning and said, “The 2013 Championship is just at the beginning, and it is important not to get carried away with enthusiasm: we will need to channel this positive energy into consistently good performances and continue to improve. We are on a good road, and we must all keep progressing.”

Adrian Sutil: If you don’t believe you can win, you’ll never win

German Adrian Sutil was without a doubt the star of the Australian Grand Prix, and asked how it felt to battle with the big teams he said, “We never expected to be leading for such a long time. It was a surprise for everyone and even more of a surprise that we could keep all the cars behind us while doing really competitive lap times. I actually pulled away from Vettel at one stage in the race. I knew the car was fast, I felt good, I felt confident.”

He also feels confident he can be at the front again this weekend, and said, “There are opportunities, and if you believe in it, you can take those chances. If you don’t believe you can win, you will never win. It’s just an approach, I think. It’s important to set your mind. It’s sometimes hard because we are usually in the midfield, but you should always think a step further.”

Paul di Resta: You never know what to expect!

Scotsman Paul di Resta finished eighth in Australia, just three seconds behind Sutil, and thus also bagged his first points of the season. But there’s always room for improvements, di Resta reckons. “We’ve got some things we need to pick up on and we can definitely make some improvements, but we’re in a good place to start the season. Also, we’ve seen already that we can make a stop less than some of our competitors so let’s see if that remains the case in Malaysia.”

About the challenges of the Sepang International Circuit he commented, “You never know what to expect! It could rain, or it could be dry. Temperatures are going to be high, degradation is going to be high, but I think our car is going to suit the warm weather. We’ve had a reasonably strong performance for the last couple of years in Malaysia, so I think we should go there feeling quite optimistic. We have a few days to conquer the jet lag and hopefully be fighting fit.”

Also read:

Red Bull Malaysian GP Preview
Ferrari Malaysian GP Preview
McLaren Malaysian GP Preview
Lotus Malaysian GP Preview
Mercedes Malaysian GP Preview
Sauber Malaysian GP Preview
Force India Malaysian GP Preview
Williams Malaysian GP Preview
• Toro Rosso Malaysian GP Preview
Caterham Malaysian GP Preview
Marussia Malaysian GP Preview

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