Friday, June 21, 2024

India GP is biggest in team’s history: Mallya


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New Delhi: Hosting the Indian Grand Prix will mark the beginning of a new Formula One tradition in the country and Sunday’s race will be biggest in his team’s history, Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya said on Wednesday.

The team is gearing for the first ever home race and both the drivers — Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta — promised to push hard for a top-10 finish.

“Absolutely,” Mallya remarked when asked if it was fair to say that this is the biggest race in the team’s history.

“This is a very important weekend for Sahara Force India and we are all determined to be as competitive as possible. I want to savour every moment of what will surely be one of the most spectacular events of the season and the start of a great Formula 1 tradition in India,” he said.

Mallya said it was a big moment for the sports tradition of the country.

“I have been involved in motor racing for over 30 years and it’s one of my greatest passions. I brought the first F1 car over to India in the 1980s and it was always a dream of mine to one day see this great nation host a Grand Prix.

“So this weekend is a very significant moment and I’m extremely proud. It’s a major step forward for Indian motorsport and for sport in general in our country,” he said.

Germany’s Sutil said they will be definitely be in hunt for points.

“I think based on our recent performances we go to Delhi believing we can score points, and we need to do that to strengthen our position in the championship. We can dream of a podium, but we also have to be realistic,” he said.

Asked how they are going deal with the untested track, Sutil said they know how to do it.

“Maybe we will run a little bit more than usual, but we know how to cope with new circuits because we had the same situation in Korea last year. With a new track it just takes a bit longer for the grip to come up and you have to do more set-up work than usual,” he said.

Resta, who has done well in his rookie season, said it will be a special race for the team.

“Obviously this is a massive race for us in a very special place. It’s the first race for India, taking Formula 1 to a new culture, and a great opportunity for us to put on a great show for the fans. “We will go there and do our maximum. Obviously each race is important because the same number of points are on offer, but there’s no denying that a strong result in the team’s home race would feel special for all of us. So there will be a lot of attention on us.” (PTI)


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