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Mallya: Time for Force India to join the podium party
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Posted By: James Allen  |  20 Jun 2012   |  1:25 pm GMT  |  8 comments

Vijay Mallya has set his Force India team the target of emulating the feats of perennial midfield rivals Sauber and Williams in achieving podium finishes this year so not to be left behind in the constructors’ championship.

Force India went into this season appearing to be the most upwardly mobile of Formula 1’s midfield teams after a strong points-scoring run in the second half of last year secured them their best finishing position under Mallya’s control, sixth, and also nearly overhaul the team now known as Lotus. But in addition to seeing Lotus regroup over the winter and remerge as bona-fide front runners, Force India has also seen major steps forward from two teams it finished ahead of in 2011, with Williams winning in Barcelona and Sauber claiming two podium finishes with Sergio Perez.

Force India’s best result, meanwhile, is Paul di Resta’s sixth place in Bahrain and the team is already 30 points adrift of Sauber in sixth place in the standings. Mallya insists such statistics must change soon if the team are to have a hope of at least matching its final result from last season.

“I think Canada showed once again that Formula One is hard to predict at the moment,” the team principal said. “It’s seriously competitive with seven different winners in seven races, all of which is great for the sport – I would certainly go along with that. But while it’s hard to predict, we still need to lift our game, especially if we want to target fifth or sixth in the constructors’ championship. Yes, we’ve had one of our best starts to a season ever in terms of points scored, but the teams around us have also performed exceptionally well.

“The teams that we have been comparable with in the past few years like Sauber and Williams have been on the podium, and I’m sure our time will come, as long as we get things right.”

Mallya, who was disappointed how a potentially big result last time out in Canada slipped through the team’s fingers after a strong start to the race with di Resta, added that it was vital that Force India started making the most of the VJM05′s potential before it was too late: “It’s something we need to do sooner rather than later because we are quickly approaching the midway point of the season. I hope we can recapture our form in Valencia, return to the points and demonstrate our potential.”

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8 Comments
  1. ArJay says:

    …have already placed Paul di Resta’s and Nico Hulkenberg’s names in hat for Valencia Prize Draw.

  2. gudien says:

    For every team which moves forward another team falls back. Will Mallya be patient and wait for limited success or will he sell to another newcomer to the sport?

  3. Matthew Yau says:

    Hi James, didn’t really know where to put this but what would you say is the best way to get into F1 journalism?

    1. James Allen says:

      How long have you got?

      The web offers lots of opportunities, but really the best way is by getting into journalism first and then trying to migrate towards F1. Just as the drivers don’t get there straight from karts, neither do journalists…

      1. Kay says:

        The web offers lots of opportunities, yup :D

        But then it’s the connections that makes YOU stand out ;)

        I’d say your networks to various teams, F1 suppliers, sources etc are what makes your site and stuff stand out.

        So to Matthew I’d say build that up too.

  4. Graham says:

    Cant take this bloke seriously!
    While the world around you is crumbling VJ….

  5. forzaminardi says:

    Must be frustrating for Mallya, having seen FI slowly improve year on year only for Sauber and Williams to get the glory now. Much as he seems a slightly comical figure, and notwithstanding the problems apparent in his other businesses, he has stood by the team through thick and thin and done a lot more to bring the team forward than the others who have owned the team since Jordan sold up.

  6. vancouver j says:

    He can’t be serious. There is no chance of FI getting a podium this year. Even less chance of the team getting 5th in the constructors.

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