Canadian Grand Prix: Force India preview
5 June, 2012
Jun.5 (Force India Press Release) Team and drivers look ahead to the Canadian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2012 Formula 1 world championship, at Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve on the Ile de Notre Dame in Montreal.
Canadian GP: Vijay’s Vision:
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: Six races into the season and we have 28 points – a very strong start to the year. Both drivers are delivering what we expect of them and we’re gaining some momentum, just as we did last year. Our car is clearly competitive and so are the drivers.
I’m very pleased with the way things went in Monaco with both cars in the points. It was our second double points finish of the season and the result brings us much closer to our nearest competitors, Sauber and Williams. We have our eyes focused on closing the gap further and I believe we have the pace to get on terms with them in the points race soon.
The unpredictability of Formula One continues with the sixth different winner of the season in Monaco. I believe this unpredictability has crept in largely because of the tyres and it’s making for some entertaining races. That’s why we’re working especially hard to understand the tyres better to make sure we get the best out of them. If we can find the sweet spot I hope we can enjoy our own special results in the races to come.
As for Canada this weekend, we’ve had good and bad times in Montreal in recent years. We were competitive there in 2010, but last year I believe we threw away some certain points. Hopefully we’ll redeem ourselves this year.
Paul Di Resta looks forward to the Canadian Grand Prix:
Paul, you finished seventh last time out – your first points in Monaco. All in all an excellent weekend…
I think it was another weekend where we maximised things as a team. Considering the issues I had in qualifying, I felt much happier with the balance during the race and we made the strategy work. It was a tough race, managing the tyres and keeping concentration, but as a team performance we can be very happy with what we achieved.
You’ve scored points in four out of six races so far this year – do you feel you can build on this momentum?
I think we’ve demonstrated that we can carry on where we left off last year and fight for points everywhere. The teams around us are all strong, but we’ve shown that we are consistent and can take on teams like Lotus, Williams and Sauber, who are all looking competitive. In terms of points scored we are well ahead of where we were this time last year we take a lot of positives from that. I believe we can keep picking up points and be even stronger in the second half of the year.
You’re preparing for your second Canadian Grand Prix. Tell us about the challenge of the circuit…
It’s quite an unusual track with some long straights and you need good top speed to be competitive. We run a special low-downforce package, similar to the one we use for Monza, so the car feels quite different and a bit loose without all the downforce. It always takes a few laps to get used to things again.
Nico Hulkenberg talks about the challenge of racing at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve:
Nico, you picked up four points in Monaco. Were you happy with your race?
From a team perspective we can be happy to have two cars in the points, but I think my race result could have been even better. I didn´t have any clear track, especially after my stop, which allowed Paul to get past: he had a few clear laps which was just enough to get by me. But apart from that there were no dramas and the car felt strong.
This will be the second time you’ve raced in Canada. Is it a track you enjoy?
It’s one of my favourites and I love Montreal as a city. There’s a good atmosphere because the whole place gets behind the race and the city is always full of fans. It’s quite an unusual circuit being a mix between a permanent track and a street circuit, so there are lots of corners where the walls are very close. It’s easy to make a mistake because you have to use the kerbs and get close to the walls to get a good lap. It’s two years since I raced there, but I was able to do Friday practice last year.
We’re a third of the way into the season – has the year lived up to your expectations so far…
There have been a lot of good moments already and there have also been times when I’ve been unlucky, but that’s what you expect in racing. Most of the races have been unpredictable, but I think our pace has been quite consistent so far. We were very close to making Q3 in Spain and Monaco, and we’ve been able to race well – in fact we are probably stronger in the races than qualifying. We’re not too far behind Sauber and Williams after six races and we saw last year how well the team was able to develop so I’m optimistic we can do the same this year.