Force India head to Hungary hoping to get back amongst the points finishers after a disastrous weekend in Hockenheim last time out.
The German Grand Prix last Sunday was only the second race where the team have failed to score any points this season, but boss Vijay Mallya thinks that things should return to normal in Budapest.
Germany was very disappointing for the team but I see it as a blip rather than anything more significant,” said the Force India team principal. “It started very well, of course, with Adrian P1 in FP1, but after that we didn’t get to grips with the track and one issue led directly into the next.
“Fortunately it was only the second time this year we have missed out on the points and – more importantly – we did not lose any ground to our main rivals so we got off lightly, all things considered. However this clearly cannot happen again as the race for fifth and sixth in the championship is closer than ever now and we need to finish with at least one car in the points at each race from now on.
“We can however be confident that we have enough strength in current performance and the new developments coming. On Friday we will test the blown diffuser, which we believe will give us a big step forward. We will analyse the findings and any data will be fed back into the programme for the second half of the year. Similarly, we have some new developments on the front of the floor.
“This year we have a much more balanced car over all types of tracks and, while we would look forward to Spa and Monza as high speed tracks that should suit us better, I think we will hold our own in Hungary.”
Adrian Sutil is also looking forward to getting to Hungary, but hasn’t had much success before at this track. “Budapest is a great city, it’s beautiful there, and always nice and warm,” said the German. “I’m looking forward to it after a cold weekend in Germany!
“The Hungaroring is actually a difficult track, with a lot of corners that require focus as one leads into the next without any recovery time. I like driving there, even though the average speed is quite low. Qualifying is very important, and despite our recent form in this area, I’m always confident I can make it into the top 10.”
We’ll also try new parts, including a new blown diffuser on the Friday,” he added. “In the past I’ve never had much luck in Hungary, but this is a new year for me, year number zero, with a competitive car, a strong position in the championship and everything to push for.”
Tonio Liuzzi has never finished a race at this track, but enjoys it nonetheless. “I quite like the track and I’ve been pretty fast in the past,” said the Italian. “It’s all about the rhythm, akin to a kart circuit, so I like it! It’s one of the old school circuits with a nice atmosphere and a beautiful city, and it’s always good to be there. I believe we have a chance to score points, but the others won’t make it easy.”
However, Liuzzi won’t be taking part in FP1 on Friday. Instead, test and reserve driver Paul di Resta will be in his car.
“After sitting out Hockenheim, I’m looking forward to getting back out there,” said the Scot. “The Hungaroring will be another new track for me so I’ve been doing my homework, going in the simulator, looking through last year’s data and talking with the engineers to be as prepared as I can.
“It looks like it’s quite a tight track and the cars don’t get going as much as at other tracks such as Silverstone or Melbourne, but I’ve always enjoyed watching the races there so hopefully it will be good to drive.
“The year is really flying by now and we’re now well over half way. I feel so much more comfortable in the car and at the moment it’s even more exciting to be part of the programme as the team is now under pressure to move forward and do the best job it possibly can.”