100 race for Sahara Force India at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend
Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, hopes the team can carry its form into the Canadian Grand Prix.
The emotions of Monaco are still fresh in our memory as our attention turns to Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix. Both our drivers and the team performed superbly on the streets of Monte Carlo and it is very satisfying to see us fifth in the Championship after a third of the season.
The race in Monaco showed the sheer class of our two drivers, and probably helped silence some critics of the team. Adrian’s moves on two former World Champions will stay in our memories for a long time, and so will Paul’s determined performance as he went from 17th to ninth.
I am proud of everyone in the team because we have achieved good results – and claimed 44 points – despite some very unfortunate occurrences. With a bit more luck, we would be even further ahead of McLaren: but the focus is on the future. We know our rivals will be more competitive in the next few rounds, but we have shown we can mix with the big teams and we intend to do so for the coming races too.
The Canadian Grand Prix also marks the 100th Grand Prix for Sahara Force India. When we started back in 2008 we simply had the ambition to break out of Q1 and we dreamed of scoring points. Seeing where we stand today is therefore extremely rewarding and motivates us all to continue working just as hard for the next 100 races.
Paul on Canada
Paul, Monaco was a mixture of emotions for you, but you picked up points in the end with an impressive recovery drive… I think it’s a sign of our competitiveness that we were a bit disappointed with ninth. I definitely felt we had the performance to be higher up the points, but the issues in qualifying put us on the back foot. That’s the thing with Monaco, it’s all about track position, but I did enjoy a few overtaking moves into turn one. Although more was possible I’m still happy to continue my run of points finishes.
Canada will be the team’s 100th race – do you think you can give the team something to celebrate? We’ve been competitive on every track this year and that’s a credit to the team, so we expect to be at our usual level once again. It’s traditionally a track that has suited us, so we go there confident that we can fight towards the front once again. 100 races is a significant achievement and it’s great to see how much the team has grown during that time. It’s a credit to the commitment of the shareholders and hopefully we can give them something to smile about come Sunday evening.
Tell us about the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve? It’s an unusual track but tends to produce exciting racing with some really good overtaking opportunities. It’s tight, because it’s a street course, so it’s another track where there is no margin for error. Straight-line speed is important, as is a car that’s stable under braking and capable of riding the curbs well.
Adrian on Canada
Adrian, how good did it feel to finish fifth in Monaco – your best result in the principality… It felt very nice. After four difficult races I was ready to get this result. We had several missed opportunities, but I tried my best to stay positive because I could see the potential of the car. So it felt very good to have a race where I could deliver a strong result. But it was not the easiest of weekends for me because I lost track time on Saturday and I damaged my front wing on the first lap of the race. So, all things considered, it was very satisfying to come away with fifth place.
Some commentators named you driver of the day for your ‘cheeky’ overtaking moves at the hairpin… I had the feeling from the first lap onwards that there was a possibility to pass cars at this corner. After the restart, when all the cars were bunched up, I saw the gap and went for it. I got ahead of Jenson first and then Fernando as well. Overtaking always feels good, but in Monaco it’s extra special because you have to judge things perfectly.
What about Montreal? Do you think you will go well there? It’s definitely one my favourite races on the calendar because it’s a great city. It’s also an interesting and unusual track, and it can be a long race with different scenarios and strategy options. I like the circuit, but for some reason I’ve never had good results there. Hopefully we can change that this year.
Sahara Force India Formula One Team