Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
New Delhi: The sole Indian Formula One team- Sahara Force India (SFI) is all set to take part in its home Grand Prix (GP) next week, which is scheduled to take place at Buddh international Circuit (BIC) at Greater Noida.
The Indian GP will be held between 25 to 27 October. Indian race is the 16th race of this season out of the 19-GP long event.
Vijay Mallya, the team principal of SFI, is hoping that the support of the Indian fans will inspire the team to score points. “Our home race is always a very proud weekend for everyone in the team: the atmosphere at the track is incredible and we always enjoy plenty of support. The track itself is one of the best in the world. It`s also a good one for us - in the last two years we scored points in both races, so a similar result would be a good target for the team,” said Mallya.
SFI delivered a spectacular performance in the first half of the season where they reached the fifth spot in the Constructors’ Championship, well ahead of McLaren team. But in the last seven races, they only managed to add just three points which pushed them back by one step. “The races after the summer break haven`t been very positive in terms of scoring points, but the morale in the team remains strong. Korea and Japan were not the easiest of weekends, but everyone in the team is working really hard to recapture our early form. It`s all a matter of finding the right balance with the car - when we do that, we will be back in the points,” Mallya added.
But still the atmosphere in the Indian camp ahead of the home race is electric.
“Our home race is always a very proud weekend for everyone in the team: the atmosphere at the track is incredible and we always enjoy plenty of support,” said Mallya.
One of the SFI drivers, Paul di Resta has a plan in mind for the next weekend and is focusing on Friday Practice session.
“We didn`t score points in Japan but we made some real progress with setting up the car, so going an extra step and getting in the top ten has got to be the goal this weekend. Friday is going to be crucial because this is one of those tracks where finding the right rhythm with a well-balanced car really pays you back with lap time,” said Resta.
Meanwhile, Adrian Sutil, the co-driver of Resta is equally excited for the Indian race.
“It is special - it’s our home Grand Prix and to have the colours of the Indian flag on the side of the car makes it even more memorable,” says Sutil. The Germen then compared the BIC circuit as the one in Korea, when he stated: “It`s a very demanding track which requires stability and a good front end. There are some similarities with Korea with some long, flowing corners in the second and third sectors where the downforce is important.”
Indian team will certainly get the backing from their home crowd during the Indian GP. Whether SFI gathers a few points in their home race or not is yet to be seen, but one thing for sure is that they will surely be the cynosure of all eyes.