The Silverstone-based outfit suffered mixed fortunes at last weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Nico Hulkenberg finished in a strong fifth place, but his team-mate Sergio Perez failed to make the start after a reliability problem.
Mallya believes the team would have scored a double-points finish had Perez started the race. “We’ve still got some catching up to do if we want to be a regular podium contender,” he said.
“We’ve got our plans for that. We’ve had our best start to a season in our history, since the Jordan times, and despite only one car finishing in Malaysia we are sitting in fifth in the Championship. Let’s hope we put on a strong show going forward.”
Teams tested extensively at the Bahrain International Circuit, the venue for this weekend’s race, over the winter, so he isn’t expecting many revelations.
“I don’t think there will be any surprises,” the 58-year-old admitted. “In Malaysia rain is always the unknown factor and we had plenty of it during qualifying. We had a dry race and we wanted to see how we would cope with the heat, as that was an important element of the whole car design for this year.
“We were alright and all our temperatures were within our parameters, so that’s good. In Bahrain it will be similar so we don’t expect any unknowns there and hopefully we’ll have a good race.”
Image courtesy of Sahara Force India F1 Team