Force India: More performance required for podiums

By on Monday, March 24, 2014
Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya has praised his team's start to the year but acknowledges that improvements must be made if they are to challenge for podiums in 2014.

Nico Hulkenberg finished the Australian Grand Prix in sixth place with Sergio Perez in tenth. Mallya believes the 'competitive' VJM07 has potential but is wary of the challenge ahead.

"Australia was definitely a respectable start, without a doubt, and probably the best start we've had since I took over the team," said Mallya.

"We went into the race feeling good and confident. We were concerned initially about reliability, but I think the number of laps we were able to put in during Bahrain testing gave us the confidence that we were on top most issues. The fact that both the cars finished the race is a good way to start the season.

"Clearly the VJM07 is competitive: Nico finished sixth with a strong drive and I dare say Checo [Perez] would have been higher up had he not had a first lap puncture. The fact that he finished where he did after three stops speaks for itself.

"Obviously there are reasons to be pleased, but we still realise that we need to find a bit more performance if we want to challenge for podiums. That's what we are focusing on right now."

Mallya also added caution over the anticipated hotter conditions this weekend in Malaysia, after cool temperatures during the Australian Grand Prix.

"The weather in Melbourne was relatively cool so I'd like to see what impact the warmer climates of Malaysia and Bahrain will have on performance and competitiveness," he said.

"Effective cooling will be a priority this weekend. If we can reproduce the performance level we showed in Melbourne that will be a good starting point."

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