25 May 2010 - The Force India F1 Team heads to the seventh round of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Turkish Grand Prix, in a buoyant mood following its double points finish at last week's Monaco Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil and Tonio...
25 May 2010 - The Force India F1 Team heads to the seventh round of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Turkish Grand Prix, in a buoyant mood following its double points finish at last week's Monaco Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi brought both VJM03 cars home inside the top ten, marking the team's best-ever combined finish and bringing the season total so far to 30 points.
With Turkey signalling a return to the more typical flowing tracks, the team is looking forward to continuing the good form it showed on similar circuits in the earlier part of the year.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal
Both Adrian and Tonio finished in the points in Monaco - how pleased were you with this result?
Six times in the top ten since the start of the season, and two cars in the points for the first time ever, it's a great result for the team. And to do so in Monaco, which is such a challenging race, is really a good marker of how far we've come in a season. We're a solid sixth place now in the championship, 30 points up, whereas last year we were points-free until Belgium. We've still got a long way to go until Abu Dhabi but at this point we can be really pleased about where we are. Every race we go to we set ourselves very high expectations and, so far, we've generally met them.
What has made the difference this year?
We're a lot more consistent over all types of tracks this year and have no real concerns or fears about any type of configuration or corner. Secondly, our development programme is very targeted and structured and the gains we see in the tunnel are replicated out on track. Thirdly, we have a very tight-knit, well-organised team that seems very stable now so we can just concentrate on the job in hand. I would say that this year we've really established our credentials as a top five team, which has made a huge difference to how everyone approaches the job in hand.
Looking forward to Turkey, what are your expectations for this round?
Off the back of the Monaco result both Adrian and Tonio are very positive about Turkey. Tonio in particular needed the result in Monaco, as after a couple of difficult weekends his confidence had taken a bit of a knock. But he came back really strongly and got some more points on board, which is exactly what he and the team needs right now. We also have some new upgrades coming for Turkey, so with the result of Monaco and these developments I would like to see a similar level of performance and ultimately results.
Adrian Sutil (car 14, VJM03/03)
Adrian, Monaco was ultimately a good event, with another points scoring finish. How would you view the weekend now, one week on?
We can be quite positive about the weekend. We looked strong all weekend, on a pace with the top teams for a lot of the time. It was a shame that we couldn't replicate this in qualifying, but the most positive is that I knew the car was capable of more and that the position we started in wasn't representative of the performance we had. In the race I was able to make up places at the start and then at the pit stop and we can be really happy with P8 in the end. What pleases me most is that we have a car that now performs on all types of tracks, both high and low downforce. Last year in places like Monaco and Hungary we struggled a bit, but this year we're up there in the top ten. Consistency is the key this year and I'm really happy with the position we're in - we don't go to tracks thinking we're going to be weak, or off the pace - we go to each track thinking 'Q3 and points for sure.' It really changes that mindset, not just for me but for the people in the garage and at the factory as well.
What comes next for you, what are your next aims?
In Turkey we have some new developments we are aiming to test and then introduce for the race, including changes to the front wing and to the mirrors to optimise the position used for the first time in China. We've seen in previous races that the top teams aren't going for major upgrade packages, they are drip feeding improvements, and that's why it's so important to keep these steps coming through. I'm feeling very positive about this race.
Is it one of your more favoured tracks?
I've gone well in Turkey before, getting into Q2 when we didn't expect it last year. It's a balance of high speed corners and technical sections, but it's a real rollercoaster and turn eight is awesome. This year it's going to be impressive, you could take it flat out. I think it should be a good track for us as we're still fast on the straights but the car feels balanced through the corners as well, and you need good traction at this circuit. I hope to pick up some more points at this race to close that gap to Renault.
Tonio Liuzzi (car 15, VJM03/04)
Monaco was a good race for you, with Q3 for the second time this year and then points again. How would you review this race?
I think it was a very productive weekend. On Thursday I was not completely 100% but on Saturday we improved the balance of the car and it was pretty good for qualifying. We had a strong session overall and then got a few points in the race which is always satisfying. We were worried going into the weekend that there would be issues with traffic, but in fact we handled the traffic much better in Monaco and I didn't see a single car on the runs, whereas in some races I got caught and then lost a lot of positions. We're handling it a lot better now and when we got out at the right time in the right position we definitely saw the benefits.
Turkey is the next round of the championship, a real drivers' track - what does it take to be quick round here?
I really like the circuit, it's really fast with the type of corners I like, and gives a lot of adrenaline each lap. The most important aspect is to find the right set up and balance from the start, particularly with the super hard tyres we have this year. It's always difficult to find the right set up and if it's colder we could have some issues, but we are positive overall. We should have some new updates on the car as well that should move us forward to our competitors.
And what are your expectations for this next round?
The target is to get into Q3 and then score points. From the team's perspective we need to try to bring both cars into the points at the end of the race. We deserved to have a double points finish earlier than Monaco, but for some reasons it didn't happen, so we need to continue to put both cars the top 10 if we want to catch Renault.
Paul di Resta, test and reserve driver
You sat out the free practice in Monaco, but what were your impressions of this unique event on the calendar, your first Monaco Grand Prix?
It was a good week, really something special, with the weather, the yachts, the atmosphere and then these super quick cars racing round some of the world's most recognisable buildings. It really was something else. From a racing perspective it was interesting to see how the team has to approach each session with regards to traffic and how the drivers have to focus every single second to keep it out of the wall to get as much track time as possible, which is crucial to going well round there. Adrian and Tonio did some good work on Thursday and we saw the results in Saturday and then in the race. It was a great result for the team.
You won't be driving in Turkey as the team has some new development items coming through in FP1. What are your thoughts about this?
It was a late call from the team but I completely understand their decision as there are some new upgrades coming through this race that really need the drivers' and the team's attention. I'll still be there in the garage, trying to learn as much as I can as the developments are pretty exciting. I've still done all the groundwork, going in the simulator for some running as I've never driven Istanbul Park before. It's a pretty busy time of the year for me as well with the DTM race in Valencia between Monaco and Turkey. But it's keeping me sharp and focussed on racing, which is the best possible situation for me right now.
-source: force india