We need extra luck to get on podium: Mallya

Force India had a disappointing British GP with di Resta and Hulkenberg failing to finish among points.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: July 17, 2012 9:48:10 am

Sahara Force India has brought home some good performances in the last few events and team principal Vijay Mallya feels with a bit of luck his drivers can finish at the podium.

“It’s satisfying to see that we are consistent top ten performers. We need that little bit of extra luck to get on the podium,” Mallya said.

“Having said that,our immediate competitors didn’t have too much luck either – Perez and Maldonado were both going well,but they didn’t score.

“Sauber didn’t get any more points to increase their lead over us. We are still only three points adrift of Williams and 16 behind Sauber,so we have reasons to be optimistic going forward,” he added.

Force India had a disappointing British Grand Prix with drivers Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg failing to finish among points in the team’s home race and Mallya said although it was frustrating,he was looking forward to a competitive showing in Hockenheim.

“It was certainly frustrating that we didn’t score points at Silverstone. We were really hoping to put on a good performance and were targeting a double points finish,” he said.

“The weather definitely played its part on Friday and Saturday,so we really couldn’t predict accurately what to expect for Sunday. One car was set up for the wet and the other for the dry.”

Asked how disappointing was it to see Paul retire so early from his home race,Mallya said: “The conditions would have suited Paul,who had the dry set-up. Unfortunately he made contact with Grosjean and that was the end of his right rear tyre.

“Nico did very well,although I wish he could have hung on to ninth. The bottom line is we followed a hard-hard-soft strategy. In the last stint we asked the soft tyres to last 17 laps and Nico was under pressure to defend his position.”

“It was a combination of tyre degradation and Nico making a slight error when he locked up the rears. Anyway,there was a lot to learn and once again the unpredictability of the tyres played a very important role. We will come back in Germany with a greater sense of determination,” Mallya said.

Nico Hulkenberg,who is set to race at home,said it was a special feeling.

“It’s always a bit more special and it’s nice that I only live one hour away so I don’t have to catch a flight! It’s where I had my very first car race in 2005 when I raced Formula BMW – and I won both races that weekend,” he said.

“Since then I’ve raced there a lot in Formula 3 and I also raced there in Formula One with Williams in 2010. It’s a track I know very well and I enjoy the layout,although it’s a relatively short lap,” he added.

Asked about the main challenges on the track,Nico said: “I think the most challenging corner to get right is turn one. It’s a quick right-hander that we take at well above 200 km/h and there is a tricky curb on the exit.

“Another important part of the lap is getting the hairpin right. If you get your braking wrong it’s easy to run wide and it’s the main opportunity for overtaking,” he added.

Di Resta also was upbeat about racing at Germany,where he spent a lot of his career racing.

“I know the track well from my days in the DTM and I am looking forward to getting out there in a Formula One car.

It’s a fun circuit with some challenging corners and it’s good for overtaking,especially the slow hairpin at turn six.

“My favourite part of the lap is the stadium,where you can really feel the energy of the crowd. The double right hander onto the start/finish line is another special corner and it’s difficult to get it right.

“If you have lots of experience on this track you can gain a little bit of time through this corner,” he added.

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