New Delhi: Force India chairman Vijay Mallya is confident that his team can still overtake Renault in the constructors’ championship and hopes Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix will mark the start of that process.
Renault sits pretty on the fifth place with 73 points in kitty and with a 41-point lead over Force India but Mallya believes it’s not too late yet.
“We are fully focused on the task in hand, which is to score as many points as we can and to regain that fifth position in the championship,” Mallya said.
“We’re not so far away from Renault and there are plenty of opportunities left to rack points up and some circuits that we should really fly on, including Montreal,” said Mallya, also the team principal.
Mallya is particularly enthused about the Montreal race where Switchable Rear Wing (the SRW) would be tried on both the cars.
“Looking forward to Canada, I firmly believe we’re still in good shape. We have some more development parts coming for this race, including some new aero parts for the low downforce configuration, and we are testing the switchable rear wing (the SRW) further on both cars this weekend,” Mallya said.
The liquor and aviation tycoon said Vitantonio Liuzzi, who has had grip problems in recent races, would use the earlier chassis in Montreal.
“Tonio will also revert back to the chassis used for the first four races as we continue to look into why he’s got the lack of grip,” he said.
Looking back at the season so far, Mallya said the team has come a long way since last year.
“Obviously scoring points is always something we are happy about. Seeing the race pace of our car compared to others, I think we’re right up there, racing with the Ferraris and Mercedes, which is a very nice position to be in. It’s positive proof of our improvement and our movement this year,” he said in a statement.
Team driver Adrian Sutil also sounded upbeat ahead of Sunday’s race and keen to give SRW a try.
“The SRW was a development item in Turkey and we didn’t use it on my car in qualifying or the race as we didn’t get enough information on it after the various issues we had in practice,” Sutil said.
“It’s a really good system for me as I can use it without taking my hands off the steering wheel and once we introduce it long-term it will be very easy to use.
“We saw on Tonio’s car that it gave a big improvement, so if we can use it on my car it will be a real step forward. We will test it some more in Canada and hopefully get some good data together,” said the German.