Vijay Mallya, team principal of Sahara Force India F1 Team, is an advocate for Albert Park, and is looking forward to the challenge that the new cars will add to the already testing track.
This year sees the arrival of wider chassis’ and fatter tyres. There will also most likely be a reduction in pit stops to just the one stop. The changes will hopefully result in faster laps and more overtaking, reintroducing a thrill to the sport that has been missing for a number of years.
“I always say that Melbourne is a great place to start the season and this year there is so much to be excited about with the new generation of cars making their race debut,” he said.
“It’s interesting for the teams, the media and most importantly, the fans. Let’s hope we put on a great show to kick off the season in style.”
Melbourne will see the team racing in their new livery for the first time since the arrival of BWT as sponsors. The new pink colour scheme replaces the iconic orange, silver and black of old.
“We will race in our new colours for the first time in Melbourne,” he continued. “BWT have given us a very exciting livery and they have generated a huge buzz among the media and fans.
“The VJM10 looks stunning and it’s great to see such a positive reaction on social media.”
Teams have been cautious in discussing their season expectations, owing to the accusations of sandbagging at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Instead it will not be until qualifying on Saturday that the true capability of each car will be unveiled. However Mallya is confident that the team has addressed any issue found during testing ahead of the opening weekend, and that a double points finish is certainly likely. Such a result would help in setting the team on course to outperform rivals Williams Martini Racing for a second year.
“As for our expectations this weekend, it’s still not easy to make predictions – even after eight days of testing in Barcelona,” he said. “Qualifying on Saturday will give us our first indication of the true pecking order.
“Testing taught us lots of things and we’ve identified where we can improve, which is exactly why we go testing. We’ve addressed most of those things in time for Melbourne and we’re in good shape.”
“The VJM10 is largely reliable and clocked up 785 laps in testing, and we took encouragement from our long run pace.
“We’ve got to approach the early races believing we can pick up where we left off last year. We arrive in Melbourne feeling optimistic and confident that scoring points is a realistic objective.”