|© Force India
Force India team principal Vijay Mallya looks back on the European season and sets his sights on a strong showing in Singapore.
Eighth place brought some useful points in Italy, but is it really a case of ‘what might have been’?
If Paul (di Resta) had started where he should have started I’m sure he would have finished higher up the order. It was very unfortunate what happened to Nico (Hulkenberg) during qualifying, where he couldn’t set a time. Given the pace of the cars I would have expected him to qualify somewhere close to Paul, so we could potentially have had both well inside the top ten. It was not to be.
Nevertheless a solid drive by Paul into eighth?
Given the fact that we were on a one-stop, we had to also keep in mind that the tyres needed to be conserved. Eighth was a result, but with a better starting position we could have come away with more.
After Spa, Sauber looked within reach, but they scored well in Italy. How do you view the situation?
There have been various moments where they’ve drawn away and we seemingly can’t catch them, but all it takes is a podium finish that brings in a lot of points, and if we get a couple of them, we could still chase them down.
On the other hand you have increased the advantage over Williams, albeit by only three points.
Two years ago Williams got us by one point in Brazil, so every point does matter!
How do you view the rest of the season?
As I’ve said before, we haven’t had our fair share of luck yet this season. Take the case of Spa – it was probably as close as we’ve had to a podium finish, but once again, it was not to be. But I’m an optimist and I don’t give up! It’s tough, Williams are strong, Sauber are strong. And look at what’s happening with Lotus. A lot of teams that were regarded as midfield teams last year are now pushing the big boys pretty hard.
Are you looking forward to Singapore?
In Singapore the atmosphere is brilliant. It’s a night race, of course, and more significantly for me there are a lot of people of Indian origin in Singapore, so they relate a lot to Force India, which is always nice. When I was living there, Singapore was very different to what it is now. It’s a lot more exciting, there are a lot more things to do, and it’s a lot more tourist friendly. Singapore should be a strong race for us because the track has always suited our car.