Q and A with Vijay Mallya
After the encouraging weekend in Germany the Hungarian GP was a frustrating race for Force India after Adrian Sutil retired early and Giancarlo Fisichella finished in 14th. On the positive side the Italian set the 10th fastest lap of the race, lapping quicker than eighth-placed Jarno Trulli and both cars from BMW and Renault.
With an update package coming for the next race in Valencia the team remains optimistic about an improvement in form and they spoke with Dr Vijay Mallya about his thoughts on Hungary and the races to come.
What's your verdict on Hungary?
It was unfortunate with Adrian, because we have achieved fantastic reliability this season. The water temperature started to go up on his warm-up lap, and we needed to avoid further damage to the engine, so we brought him in. That ended his race. Giancarlo had a pretty good race and I was very impressed by his pace in the middle of the race, particularly with his lap times. They were really good and comparable to those running in the top 10.
You were running in or close to the points in the previous two races, so was Hungary a bit frustrating?
I think the whole weekend in Hungary was somewhat frustrating. We had difficulty getting heat into the tires, and it only shows how you need to get the set-up absolutely right for each individual track. We still hoped that in the race we could pick up a few places.
What do you have on the car for the European GP?
We have a big aerodynamic upgrade coming for Valencia, and we're looking forward to that very optimistically. Hopefully it will show through in track performance. But having said that, given how competitive the sport is, given the fact that every team is improving and introducing their own updates all the time, we have to stay ahead of the game. That's really what we have to do.
Any idea about which of the next few tracks might be more favorable?
It all depends on the performance of the new aero upgrade that we are going to introduce in Valencia. If everything works the way we hope it will work, we should definitely be Q2, maybe even the top of Q2 in Valencia and beyond. I'm quite optimistic, but it's not good to be too optimistic in this sport. But we're getting there. We're also working on more upgrades for the final races of the season so fingers crossed we should be able to maintain our momentum.
It looks like the questions over the sport's future will soon be over and everything will finally be sorted out. Is that how you see it?
Ultimately Max Mosley wanted to cut the costs of F1, and he wanted to make it affordable for new teams to enter. FOTA always agreed with the concept of cost reduction, but probably strongly disagreed with the method which was chosen. But now there is an alignment of views. FOTA has agreed via their resource restriction agreement to bring down the costs over the next couple of years. Most of the teams seem happy with that. As long as they stick to it, both objectives - the FIA's objectives as well as FOTA's objectives - would have been achieved.