(Sahara Force India Formula One Team)
The Sahara Force India Formula One Team go into this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix achieve a strong result following a disappointing race last time out in Spain where Sergio ‘Checco’ Perez came home in 13th place while team mate Nico Hulkenberg ended the race in 15th place. Both drivers ended the event one lap down on race winner Nico Rosberg.
The Silverstone based outfit have endured a tough start to their 2015 season and find themselves in eighth place in the championship on eleven points.
They will introduce a new B-spec car for Austrian Grand Prix which takes place at the Red Bull Ring next month which they hope will get them back on track competing for points. However attention is now fully focused on Monaco this weekend and Sahara Force India Team Principal Dr Vijay Mallya stated:
‘The Monaco Grand Prix is the event of the season. It’s a spectacular venue full of glamour, prestige and history. Everybody wants to be there and getting a good result in Monaco always feels extra special.
“Although we struggled for outright pace in Barcelona, the unpredictable nature of Monaco could help us spring a surprise. It’s a track where we’ve been successful in the past [fifth places in 2013 and 2014] and I believe we can do something special again this year. The softer tyre compounds suit the VJM08 and we have two drivers who adore racing in Monaco. We must also be ready to make opportunistic strategy calls from the pit wall.”
“Before the Spanish Grand Prix I said the priority was to keep in touch with the midfield teams until we bring more performance to the car. It’s encouraging to see that we are just eight points away from fifth place in the standings and hopefully we can add more points to our tally this weekend. One area we need to improve is our qualifying speed so that we can take advantage of our race pace, which has been much more competitive.’
Monaco is a favourite among the drivers including Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez and speaking ahead of the race, Hulkenberg stated:
‘Monaco is my favourite race weekend of the year, both from a driving point of view and because of everything that goes on during the week. Everything about Monaco is exciting: the place itself feels special, but when Formula One turns up it's the start of something amazing.
“From a driver's point of view, Monaco is one of the last tracks in the world where you have absolutely zero margin for error - one mistake and you are in the wall. The thrill and kick you get in the car as you drive around the circuit is much bigger than what you get from any other track: your heart rate goes up; your heart is in your mouth – I really like that. The whole lap is a challenge. To master the track and put together three good sectors on a qualifying run is very hard, but when you get it done it is such a great feeling. You are relieved, proud and happy - it's priceless.
“The atmosphere you breathe in during the race weekend is so cool. From the start of the week there is a lot going on in terms of parties and events, and just being part of this weekend is very enjoyable.’
Sergio Perez commented by saying:
‘I always look forward to Monaco. It’s a special place, which has everything you need for a Formula One race. The lap is amazing, the location is beautiful, and it’s the race everybody wants to attend.
“I enjoy the challenge of Monaco and I believe that the driver can make more of a difference compared to other circuits. To be quick you have to take some risks, push the limits, and kiss the walls. I enjoy the quick parts of the lap – the swimming pool section and Casino Square. It’s all about being accurate and precise.
“It’s not the most difficult circuit, but if you get it wrong, you get punished. When you get together the perfect lap, it feels great. That’s why I think it’s the one race where there is a chance to do something extra special.’
© Ben Johnston 2015