Force India’s Vijay Mallya: “Spa is certainly a track where the VJM09 can be strong”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Vijay Mallya believes the Belgian Grand Prix represents a good opportunity for Sahara Force India to continue their run of points finishes.

Currently the Silverstone-based outfit are fifth in the Constructor Standings with a total of 81 points after good runs from both drivers before the summer-break. At the German Grand Prix, Nico Hulkenberg finished in seventh with Sergio Perez in tenth.

Team principal Mallya believes the updates they introduced at Silverstone have made a big difference. With Formula 1 returning this weekend after the summer-break, he believes the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps will suit the VJM09.

“We are performing well and delivering results, and Spa represents a good opportunity to continue our run of points finishes,” said Mallya. “The updates we introduced at Silverstone have made a difference and there is still more performance to be extracted from our chassis.

“I think all teams have now switched their focus to 2017 so the pecking order should not change dramatically. Some tracks will suit us more than others, but Spa is certainly a track where the VJM09 can be strong.”

Mallya believes Perez’s podium at the Monaco Grand Prix was the turning point of their 2016 Formula 1 season. Since then the team have been performing strong with a total of 67 points achieved, and Mallya is interested to see where Force India can end the season if they continue this pace.

“I regard our podium in Monaco as the turning point of our season – both in terms of the result and our public perception,” added Mallya. “Then, our strong showing in Baku just reinforced the great job we are doing as a team.

“It’s a fierce battle in the midfield, but we are performing well. Since Monaco we have scored 67 points compared to the 31 of our nearest rival. If we continue scoring at this rate, it will be interesting to see where we can end the season.”