Force India's truly competitive: Mallya

Force India owner Vijay Mallya on Tuesday hailed the performance of his team at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany and said the team has shown they are "truly competitive".

Updated: July 26, 2011 15:08 IST
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Nurburgring: Force India owner Vijay Mallya on Tuesday hailed the performance of his team at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany and said the team has shown they are "truly competitive".

Mallya said that it was certainly one of the better performances put up by the team, keeping in mind the ever growing competitive nature of the sport.

"It was certainly one of our better performances," Mallya said.

"Over the last few years F1 has become ever more competitive. The gap between the cars has reduced quite a lot from what it was a few years ago. So in this new scenario we have shown that we are truly competitive," he added.

Force India enjoyed a strong weekend at the German Grand Prix with Adrian Sutil finishing sixth in the race after starting eighth at the grid with a lap time of 1:26.208.

It was team's best result since last year's Korean Grand Prix, however, there was disappointment for Paul Di Resta, who fought back to 13th after being involved in a first lap crash with Ranault's Nick Heidfeld.

The result moves the team back up to seventh position in the constructors standings with 20 points.

Sutil, meanwhile, collected eight points from Sunday's race to occupy 12th place in the overall drivers' standings with 18 points after 10 races in the season.

His earlier best performance this season was a seventh-place finish in Monaco in May.

The second Force India driver Paul de Resta was involved in a first lap crash with Ranault's Nick Heidfeld, but recovered to finish 13th.

Emphasisng on the fact that Force India driver could pip the Mercedes' Nico Rosenburg on its way to the finish line, Mallya said it was big achievement for the team that operates on a quarter of their budget.

"We could race with Mercedes, which I think is a big achievement for a team that probably operates on a quarter of their budget! So we are feeling really good today," Mallya revealed.

He said the team was on a constant up since the Monaco GP and everything fell in place in Germany.

"We showed great promise actually from Monaco onwards," Mallya reiterated.

"We were competitive in Canada, where at one stage Paul was running fifth or sixth. Then both the drivers had moments and did not finish. In Valencia Adrian scored points, and at Silverstone once again there was no reason why both cars should not have finished in the points, but we just messed it up on the pit wall. Everything came together in Germany," he added.

Lavishing praise on Sutil, the Force India owner said the German has given the team every reason to feel proud and that he was happy to see an improved performance of his team.

"For Adrian to finish sixth, in front of both Mercedes cars, we have every reason to be very proud. Unfortunately Paul had this incident with Nick Heidfeld, otherwise he would have been in the points as well.

"We have had our fair share of bad luck, so I hope that stops now! What happened to Paul was clearly bad luck, no fault of his at all.

"Both drivers have said they are very happy with the car, happy with the team, and I was pretty happy to see a greatly improved step up in performance on the pit wall today. The strategy was planned right and executed right, so I am pleased," Mallya said.

Tight and twisty tracks have not always been favourable for the car in recent years, but the owner remains confident of the road ahead.

"We have a lot more downforce than we did, so I feel quite confident that we can put up a good show. We have a small development for Hungary, we have a special Monza package, and we want to do some serious development in time for Singapore and beyond for the flyaway races. So I am greatly encouraged," Mallya said.

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