Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Bahrain Grand Prix - Race Day - Sakhir, Bahrain
Credit: Force India
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Vijay Mallya: “Bahrain Was Not Just a One-Off”

Force India Team Principal Vijay Mallya has praised his teams efforts in achieving their best ever start to a season and insists there is more to come.

Mallya hopes his drivers can repeat their success in Bahrain with another podium in China. “I think we’ve shown in the first few races that we have produced a competitive car. Bahrain was not just a one-off and we’ve been improving with each race.

We won’t sit back; we are always trying to improve. The aim is to repeat the podium – I want to see us up there fighting towards the front.”

Bahrain wasn’t all plain sailing for Force India though as many a sweaty forehead was wiped as Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg went wheel to wheel on numerous occasions. Mallya describes how he kept his cool: “There were certainly a few anxious moments! I was asked a lot in Bahrain whether there were any team orders, but we preferred to let our drivers race and compete with each other. They both raced hard but fair.

Perez believes the team can continue to build on his hard fought podium in Bahrain. The Mexican driver says his main aim is to target more podiums but is aware the team mustn’t get carried away with their recent success. “To get the podium in Bahrain was great. We knew we were quick and I made sure I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

The target is to move on, keep improving and target more podiums. We need to think about how we can do better in China. At the same time we must not get carried away because we know how competitive Formula One is.”

After three races Hulkenberg currently occupies 3rd place in the Drivers’ Championship and the German is certainly not taking his great start for granted. “If you had told me during winter testing that I would be in this position I would have taken it straight away. We have made the most of the opportunities with three consistent weekends. We have a good package and we have the hunger to keep fighting at the front.

Like Perez Hulkenberg is also hoping for a strong weekend in China: “We can feel positive the car will perform quite well in China. I think we can aim for another competitive weekend and come away with some more points.