Posts Tagged ‘Force India’

Paul di Resta has made an impressive start

Scot Paul di Resta has impressed many up and down the F1 pitlane in his first three races.

The Force India driver scored points in Australia and Malaysia and finished in 11th in China. Impressively he has out-qualified his highly-rated team-mate Adrian Sutil in every race so far and has been linked with a move to Mercedes for 2012.

Speaking to the Force India website:

Paul, you qualified eighth and nearly made the points again in China. Bearing in mind there are big upgrades coming, is it encouraging to have started the season so well?

There’s good things to come, and we’ll stay positive about that. We did a very good job in qualifying, but at the same time we had a Mercedes and two Renaults behind us, quick cars, plus Mark Webber’s Red Bull! So it was always going to be tough to stay in a points’ position. We came very close, but we just ran out of tyres at the end. Maybe the strategy wasn’t right. But I think that what didn’t help my weekend was the fact that we missed all of FP2.

You know how it is to miss FP1 on Friday morning, but FP2 is that much more important, isn’t it?

Definitely. We had three sets of tyres that we didn’t use, and also missed the higher and low fuel runs. It is frustrating, but I understand that things don’t always run smoothly on a weekend. We had some issues, which we don’t want to happen, but we did the best job possible, and I’m very thankful to the team that we got it all sorted.

You made a good start and passed Jaime Alguersuari, and then after that you seemed to be fighting people most of the time.

It was a great launch, the guys who take care of that have done well. I was behind Alonso in the first stint. Then I was behind Michael, who jumped us in the pits. Later I had a battle with Heidfeld, Kobayashi and Petrov at the end. There was a bit of contact with Nick at the last corner, but it was nothing more than a racing incident. We were both equally squeezing each other. He tried to go round the outside of me, he didn’t leave me enough room, so we touched. I knocked my front wing and got a puncture.

We heard you on the team radio talking about the rear of the car early on. Was that a tyre issue?

That was just a consequence of not doing a high fuel run on Friday to get the aero balance. We had a bit of a guess, and it wasn’t quite right. I think we’ve got to be very positive, given our relative performance. We got what we could out of it, and it just wasn’t enough, unfortunately.

You’ve come to F1 with perfect timing, because there is so much going on in the races now. Have you enjoyed the challenge of the tyres and the DRS?

It’s all been relatively manageable. The races have been great fun, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year, and hopefully getting some more performance. We’re not far away just now.

Any thoughts on the next race in Istanbul?

I don’t know the track at all, but I’ll get some Friday morning running. Hopefully we’ll have a good session.

There’s a break before Turkey. After the hectic start to the season do you feel that you need a break?

It’s been a very busy four weeks, and I’ve never done three races in four weeks. It’s been good, but some rest is welcome, and hopefully I’ll come back stronger. I’ll be with the family at Easter, and just catching up with some friends and doing some training.


Force India have scored points in both 2011 races

Force India today announced plans to create a driving academy designed to nurture young Indian F1 talent.

The Force India F1 Team Academy will provide financial support to up-and-coming drivers to help them reach the highest echelons of the sport.

Over the next two years children aged between 14 and 17 will be able to take part in a go-kart time trial event with the best performers going head-to-head against each other in regional finals.

The ten best drivers will then travel to Silverstone for a week-long driver assessment period.

From these ten the team will pick three drivers:

  • The winner will be put through a full season of racing in a competitive UK championship
  • The first runner up will go on to race in a full season of racing in a competitive Indian championship
  • The third-placed driver will benefit from a programme of karting tuition at a suitable location in Asia

“The setting up of the Force India F1 Team Academy is a historic milestone in the sports arena in India. It marks the first time that anyone has ever embarked on such an ambitious programme in India,” said Force India chairman and team principal, Vijay Mallya.

“Our goal is to create a pool of talent and groom aspirants who show exceptional promise by providing them with the necessary corporate funding and support.

“Our programmes will provide a clear professional career path in motorsport so that one day our selected candidates are able to represent India in the international arena and hopefully bring glory to the nation,” he said.

The value of young driver programmes has been obvious in recent years. World champion Sebastian Vettel came through BMW junior ranks and Lewis Hamilton similarly did at McLaren before gaining a race seat in 2007.

Other drivers to embark on similar routes include Sergio Perez with Ferrari and Toro Rosso test driver Daniel Ricciardo who is part of Red Bull’s junior scheme.

Growth in India

Force India hope the academy will widen interest in a sport which has grown significantly within India over the last few years.

Narain Karthikeyan, now of Hispania, became the first Indian F1 driver in 2005 when he raced for Jordan and in 2007 Force India became the first Indian team when it bought out Spyker.

This year will also see the first-ever Indian Grand Prix at the end of October.

Sutil joined the team in 2007

After finishing eleventh in Melbourne (and promoted to ninth following Sauber’s exclusion) Adrian Sutil spoke to Force India’s website:

 Q: There has been a lot to talk about this weekend. What’s your overall verdict?

It was quite an interesting weekend, I think! Everybody thought it was going to be challenging with new tyres, the wing, all the buttons, and everything that you had to do. But it turned out to be a normal race as usual.

Q: What did you think of the Pirelli tyres?

The tyres worked very well, and you could even do a one-stop strategy and it really worked! I had a similar feeling when I was on the soft or hard, the tyre was just lasting and lasting. It was really good. It was surprising, but I think it was a good job from Pirelli. Let’s see how it is in the next race in Malaysia. That’s going to be a little bit different on tyres, with extreme heat and high speed corners it is always challenging.

Q: What was your own tyre strategy?

I did option/prime/prime. I felt very comfortable on the prime all weekend, I could switch them on really well, so I decided on that strategy.

Q: How would you sum up the team’s weekend?

In general it was a good weekend for us. The car was not so bad. We expected the worst as the pace wasn’t there in Barcelona during testing. But here it was much better in qualifying, and in the race both cars finished, so it was a good result in the end.

Q: How did things go from the start?

I lost a little in the first corner. It looked like I was going to gain a little bit, but in the end there was a bit of a mess! The fight for position got a little too close for me and I did not want to lose my front wing, so I had to back off, and I lost three or four places. Then I thought, ‘OK, wait a few corners, they’re going to eliminate themselves anyway,’ and that’s how it happened. There were three or four cars out of the race and I was there where I wanted to be. So from that point of view it was quite good. I’ve had quite a few shunts in the first corner here, and I know if you just try to stay in the race you’re going to be well placed in the end.

Q: How did your race unfold after that?

It was OK, but I think I missed a position. I was fighting against Buemi at the beginning, once I fought past other cars. I was right behind him, and I went into the pits a lap later to have the extra lap advantage on new tyres. But the pit stop wasn’t so good, as we lost around four seconds with a problem with the left rear. I went out of pits still in front of him, but with new tyres you’re so slow in the first sector, and he passed me by going completely off track. Then Paul passed me, and I had to get past Paul again, and Buemi was gone.