Korean GP: Force India preview
11 October, 2011
Chairman and Team Principal, Dr. Vijay Mallya:
There are just four races remaining – are your sights still fixed on fifth in the constructors’ championship?
Absolutely. There is still a long way to go and we have to believe it is still possible. I said before that we will need some luck to do this, but the upcoming tracks could easily throw up some surprises. So we need to be ready to capitalise on any opportunities. What is clear is that we have inherent pace in the car and we just need to keep delivering it, picking up points and then see where we are come the end of the year.
Adrian Sutil gives his thoughts on the return to Yeongam and his performance so far this season.
Adrian, we’re back in Korea for the second time. What do you remember about the first race last year?
It was a very wet weekend for all of us but the track was very nice. When we arrived it still needed some work doing with some kerbs missing, but the general layout was nice with a good flow. It may have changed a bit this year because nearly all tracks develop bumps in the braking zones – that’s just what happens when you have Formula One cars running because of the forces involved.
Which parts of the lap stuck in your mind?
The first sector is mainly straights and hairpins, which is ideal for overtaking, while the second and third sectors have some high-speed corners. I particularly liked the direction changes through turns seven, eight and nine. And the last sector has lots of changes of direction one after the other – a bit like the first sector at Suzuka. So there is a good mix of everything.
As we approach the end of the year, are you pleased with how things are going?
Personally I feel I’ve been very consistent this year. I’ve not made many mistakes and I’m pleased with the results we’ve achieved as a team. This year it’s the opposite of last year because we are getting stronger at the end of the year. That’s why these last few races are so important and we have to get the most from them.
Paul Di Resta gears up for his first Korean Grand Prix.
Looking back on the weekend – did you enjoy your first Japanese Grand Prix?
I definitely enjoyed the challenge of the track, but we came away a bit disappointed not to convert our strong start into points. The timing of the safety car made it hard to realise the full potential of our strategy. But we will take it on the chin and look to fight back in Korea.
Yeongam is another new track for you to learn – your third new track on the trot…
That’s right! In fact I’ve not raced at any of the remaining tracks on the calendar. I did the young driver test at Abu Dhabi last year, but the rest are unknown to me. I’ve visited all these places and walked the tracks last year, but there’s only so much you learn from that. Plus, for Korea I’ve only done half a day in the simulator so there’s lots for me to get to grips with.
What can you tell us about the circuit from your limited knowledge?
It’s another technical lap with some quite distinctive sectors and different characteristics. There are some slower, more technical parts to the lap in the first sector, which should play to our strengths, while the second and third sectors are high-speed and have a nice flow. Also, Pirelli are bringing the soft and super soft tyres, which is a combination that tends to work quite well for us.