(Sahara Force India Formula One Team)
The Sahara Force India Formula One Team head to this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix having secured one of their best results in recent season's last time out in Bahrain. Sergio Perez started the race from 4th on the grid and went on to secure the team's first podium finish since Giancarlo Fisichella finished in second place in Belgium in 2009 with the Mexican finishing in third place.
Meanwhile his team mate Nico Hulkenberg, who started the Bahrain GrandPrix from 11th on the grid went on to finish the race in 5th place, the result propelled the Silverstone based team into second in the Constructors championship, one point ahead of McLaren.
The team will be hoping to build on their strong performance at the Sakhir circuit with a strong performance in Shanghai. Speaking about this weekend's race team principal Dr Vijay Mallya said:
'I think we’ve shown in the first few races that we have produced a competitive car. Bahrain was not just a one-off and we’ve been improving with each race. In Australia we were sixth, in Malaysia fifth and then third and fifth in Bahrain. As I’ve said, it’s our best ever start to a season, which always gives me a great sense of satisfaction, but we won’t sit back; we are always trying to improve. The aim is to repeat the podium, but each race is different and the field is so competitive that it’s impossible to predict. Some tracks will suit us more than others but I want to see us up there fighting towards the front'.
Reflecting on the teams performance in Bahrain, Mallya commented:
'I was very pleased to finally achieve that elusive podium. We’ve been close a few times in the last few years, but everything came together perfectly in Bahrain. I think it's a reflection of the talent and the passion of this team, and the fact that we have excellent teamwork. There’s a great amount of dedication in all areas of the company and a single purpose in mind for everyone. We're second in the constructors' championship, which feels pretty special. I know we’ve only had three races, but nevertheless it's good to be up there. Forty four points out of three races, it's the dream start we were hoping for'.
Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg also reflected on their performances during the race with Perez saying:
'To get the podium in Bahrain was great. My last podium was a long time ago so to fight at the front again feels good. We knew we were quick and I made sure I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. It’s a great result for this team and a big boost of confidence for me'
Speaking about the upcoming Grand Prix, Perez commented:
'The target is to move on, keep improving and target more podiums. Bahrain was the first real opportunity I had to develop the car through the weekend without any issues so it felt like my season really started there. Now we need to think about how we can do better in China. At the same time we must not get carried away because we know how competitive Formula One is and how things can change very quickly.'
Meanwhile team mate Nico Hulkenberg was asked about how he felt his race had gone in Bahrain:
'Given where I started (P11), I was happy to be up there fighting for the podium. I think the key moment was the safety car, which really hurt our race a lot. We had done all our pit stops and I was going really well in fourth place just behind Checo. Then, after the safety car, things became trickier because the pack was bunched up and I had to fight really hard in the final few laps.'
The German was also asked about his strong start to the 2014 season, his strongest ever start to a campaign:
'If you had told me during winter testing that I would be in this position I would have taken it straight away. It’s definitely a nice surprise and as a team we have made the most of the opportunities with three consistent weekends. We’ve shown we have a good package and we have the hunger to keep fighting at the front'.
Finally he was asked how he felt he would get on this weekend:
'It’s hard to say for sure. We’ve performed well at all the tracks so far and they all had very different characteristics. So we can feel positive that the car will perform quite well in China. We are going there after the test in Bahrain and hopefully we can bring some more performance too. So I think we can aim for another competitive weekend and come away with some more points'.
Don't forget that if you want show your support to Nico Hulkenberg, you still have time to sign up to the Team Hulkenberg Project. The details can be found below:
Are you a Nico Hulkenberg fan? If so then this is something special for you. Team Nico Hulkenberg a fan twitter page dedicated to 'The Hulk' are running project and need your help. So what are they looking for? Well if you would like to share how much you support Hulkenberg and are on Twitter then follow this link: https://twitter.com/TeamHulkenberg/status/448523586043920385/photo/1
The deadline for submissions is Sunday 27th April.
©Ben Johnston 2014