We need to lift our game for top-six finish: Mallya

Jun 21, 2012 21:31 IST

#Force India   #FormulaOne   #LifeInTheFastLane   #Vijay Mallya  

Sahara Force India needs to lift its performance as a unit if the Silverstone-based side wants to finish among top six in the constructors' championship in this year's Formula One season, team principal and managing director Vijay Mallya said today.

Although Mallya believes that Sahara Force India started on a bright note this season, a podium finish continues to elude the outfit.

"It's seriously competitive with seven different winners in seven races, all of which is great for the sport. 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," Mallya said ahead of Sunday's European Grand Prix.

Although Mallya believes that Sahara Force India started on a bright note this season, a podium finish continues to elude the outfit. Reuters

"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. It's something we need to do sooner rather than later because we are quickly approaching the midway point of the season," he said.

"I hope we can recapture our form in Valencia, return to the points and demonstrate our potential."

Sahara Force India is presently lying eighth in the constructors standings with 28 points behind nearest competitors Williams (44) and Sauber (58).

Force India's Paul Di Resta is up for the challenge which the Valencia Street Circuit will pose before the drivers, starting tomorrow.

"It's a mix between a street circuit and a normal track and it's got a lot of corners to go with it – maybe the most corners of any circuit on the calendar. The track is very smooth but it's tricky to get on top of the set-up and if you don't find the sweet spot it can make quite a big difference to your lap time across such a long lap," he said.

"Qualifying in a good position makes a big difference. Come tomorrow, I am hoping to get a better idea of the weekend ahead," Dr Resta added.

His co-driver Nico Hulkenberg, who had to retire midway in the race during his first outing here in 2010, is looking forward to put his best foot forward this weekend.

"My race there in 2010 was not a particularly happy one. There was some bodywork burning away and I eventually had to retire. But I'm looking forward to going back to Valencia because I like the track, even though we've seen how difficult it is to overtake there," he said.

"The track has are a few special corners in the final sector of the lap and it's enjoyable to drive. It's also quite a long lap with 25 corners so it can be quite difficult to get a perfect lap together," Hulkenberg added.

PTI