05 May

Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Pirelli 2014: Preview

Vijays Vision
Vijay Mallya sums up the fly-away races and sets his sights on more success in Europe.

Vijay, 54 points from four races and Sahara Force India is third in the standings. The teams best ever start to a season continues
I think we can feel extremely satisfied with our performance during the first four races. Weve been in the points in every race, Sergio has been on the podium and Nico has finished no lower than sixth place. Weve already scored 70% of the total points we scored in 2013 and that puts us in a fantastic position to potentially enjoy our best season to date.

What are your expectations for Barcelona and the other upcoming tracks?
Its encouraging that we have performed well across a wide range of circuits, so Im optimistic that we can maintain our competitive form in Barcelona. China has never been an especially strong track for us, so to come away with ten points was a very good effort. We also expect our car to perform better in warmer conditions and there are some upcoming races that will play more to our strengths. At the same time we know that Formula One never stands still and Barcelona is always a pivotal moment in the development race, but Im optimistic we can keep up our momentum.

Its going well off the track as well with the team announcing a significant partnership with Smirnoff last week
Its an exciting time for us. Smirnoff is another global brand keen to be part of our journey and ready to take advantage of the marketing power offered by Formula One. The partnership means we have now signed ten new partners in the last six months and that has made a vital contribution to our competitiveness this year.

Driver's View: Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg looks forward to another strong showing in Barcelona.

Nico, fourth in the standings after four races an ideal way to start the European season
Ive enjoyed the first part of the year. Its probably gone better than we were expecting after winter testing and its good to keep picking up the points. Im fourth with 36 points and I think thats a big achievement. The car has worked well everywhere and weve made the most of the opportunities. Consistency is surely one of our strengths at the moment.

Has the strong start to the season changed the attitude inside the team?
I think this team has always been hungry and thats still very much the case. Were up in third in the championship and we want to stay there. The hard work over the winter is paying off, but we know that Formula One is always a development race and things can change from one weekend to the next. So we need to keep working hard to maintain our good position.

Barcelona next, do you expect this track to be a challenge?
Even though we know the place inside out, it remains a tough, tricky circuit and one of those places where its especially important to optimise the car balance. If you dont feel totally comfortable with the car it really hurts your laptime. Barcelona is the true test for downforce because of the quick corners in the first and second sectors. Traction is also important in the final part of the lap with the low-speed corners and we should be strong there.

Driver's View: Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez prepares for the start of the European season in Barcelona.

Sergio, Formula One is heading to Europe are you feeling ready for Barcelona?
I love coming back to Europe to race on some of the classic circuits. I enjoy Barcelona and for me its one of the best circuits on the whole calendar. Its very complete with a mix of everything and some very long, quick corners. Its tough physically, especially on the neck with so many right hand corners, but its a fun place to drive a Formula One car. Its always a race where teams bring new updates so its going to be interesting to see how everyone will perform there.

Youve had four races as a Sahara Force India driver are you happy with how things are going?
On the one hand Im happy. The podium in Bahrain was very important; it helped me get to know the team properly and gave us all something special to celebrate. At the same time I feel there is more to come and that weve yet to achieve our full potential. Bahrain has been the only weekend where everything has worked out perfectly. If we can have more weekends like that I think we can get some more great results.

Are you enjoying the racing this year? Is it more challenging than you expected?
Its not any harder‎ or any easier than last year; its just different. The grip has changed and the sound is different, but its still a Formula One car and the competition element has not changed a bit. It already feels normal to me after just four races.

posted at 11:07:29 on 05/05/14 by webmaster - Category: races