Sahara Force India F1 Team principal Vijay Mallya says Sergio Pérez‘s podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix feels like a turning point in their season.
Force India struggled at the beginning of the 2018 Formula 1 season when they only achieved one point in the opening three races.
It quickly changed when an unexpected top three finish occurred at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with Pérez finishing third in the dying moments of the race. The Mexican’s podium was also his first points of the season.
It was also the team’s first podium since the 2016 European Grand Prix, at the same circuit, where again, Pérez picked up the honours, and reflecting about the race in Baku, Mallya says that Pérez’s drive to the rostrum could became the turning point to their season they needed.
“Baku feels like a turning point in our season,” said Mallya. “The podium has given us a huge boost and is just the result we needed.
“It helps us forget about the bad luck and missed opportunities from the first few races.”
The Silverstone-based team had a slow start to the season following the VJM11‘s lack of pace, but recent upgrades brought in has helped pushed the team back up the midfield heading into the European season.
Mallya says that the team understands the car more now and they carry momentum ahead of this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya where the team will add more parts to their car.
“Our speed in Baku confirms we are moving in the right direction,” Mallya continued. “We understand the car more and we are taking steps forward at each race. With the podium it feels as though our season is up and running.
“We now have some momentum behind us. Let’s see what we can do in Barcelona where we will have more new parts to try on the car.”