Mallya thrilled to break Force India podium jinx

By on Monday, April 7, 2014
Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya expressed his delight after Sergio Perez ended the team's podium drought in Bahrain.

Perez finished the race in third place to secure Force India's second podium in their history, four-and-a-half years after their maiden top three finish in 2009.

"It is a very special moment," Mallya told the Official F1 Website. "My job was always to make this team climb up the ladder - steadily. I always believed that 2014 - with all the new regulations - gave us a new opportunity. And so far what a good season it has been!

"We finished sixth in Australia, we improved to fifth in Malaysia - and I think I hinted in Malaysia that I hoped that we could improve further, and there you have it: the podium in Bahrain! We were quietly confident with Checo [Perez] being fourth on the grid, but everything had to be perfect for us - especially as we planned a two-stop strategy.

"We were not so sure if we would make the tyres work, but the drivers did an excellent job."

Mallya also praised the efforts of Nico Hulkenberg, who finished the race in fifth place and defended against the Red Bull drivers during the final stint of the race.

"Even Nico was outstanding - starting 11th and moving up to seventh on the first lap and driving a flawless race," he said.

"It was all down to great teamwork as in the last two to three laps the Red Bulls, on their new soft tyres, were really flying and he [Hulkenberg] managed to hold off [Daniel] Ricciardo and [Sebastian] Vettel - and that improved the chances for Perez.

"Everybody in the team is absolutely delighted that we have finally achieved the podium. Last year we were quite unlucky, but today the jinx is broken - and I would not mind if this is the start of a nice series of podiums."

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