Fourth not out of reach – Mallya
Force India team principal Vijay Mallya believes fourth place in the constructors’ championship is not out of reach ahead of the 12th round of the season in Belgium.
The Silverstone-based outfit currently sits fifth in the standings after 11 races with 98 points, 37 behind Williams and one ahead of McLaren.
The team has enjoyed its best ever start to a season and Mallya believes moving up a position in the championship is possible before the end of the year.
“I’m pleased we went into the summer break in fifth place,” he said. “I think it’s where we deserve to be at this stage of the season.
“Fourth place is not out of reach either with 38 points covering fourth to sixth place. One race can make all the difference, and the last race, with double points, could prove to be decisive.
“So we’ll just keep our heads down and focus on every single race and take it as it comes.”
Force India suffered a disastrous race in Hungary and failed to score a point for the first time this season, after both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez crashed out.
“Until Hungary we had scored points in every race, so I guess we were due to have an unlucky weekend at some stage” Mallya said.
“I just hope that’s our bad luck over and done with. At the same time there was a huge opportunity to come away with some significant points so it was a missed opportunity.
“Both drivers came to me and apologised. Checo was unlucky: the same thing happened to Vettel at the same corner and he got away with it.”
It is almost five years since Giancarlo Fisichella gave Force India its first pole position and podium finish at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. “The time has gone quickly, but since then the team has only become stronger,” he admitted.
“It was a breakthrough moment when people sat up and started to take us seriously. I’m proud of where we are today and I feel there will be some big opportunities in the final eight races for us to show our potential.
“Spa is a high-speed track so it’s an opportunity for the Mercedes-engined teams, but equally there are other tracks we are looking forward to, such as Singapore.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.