Indian Grand Prix will attract crowd, say Force India drivers

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2011, 22:11 PM IST

Mumbai: Despite the fate of driver`s championship and constructor`s title being sealed with Sebastian Vettel and his team Red Bull walking away with the honours, Sahara Force India`s Paul di Resta is confident that large crowd will turn up at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix at Greater Noida on Sunday to support his team.

"We are genuinely trying to make Indian people excited about the Grand Prix and the back end that we have – Dr Mallya, Sahara and other participants. They enjoy that and continue to keep enjoying Formula 1," said di Resta.

"We want to show Indian people what F1 is. There is a massive following in the country for cricket and if we can pick up even some of that it would be a great success," he said during the launch of Sahara Force India commemorative Kingfisher cans.

Echoing his views, di Resta`s team-mate Adrian Sutil said, "I am happy to be here and happy that it is a second home-ground for the team to be part of. I have been part of it for quite some time. Probably for me its a second home ground after Germany and it is very special to be here."

Sutil and his British teammate di Resta have performed well during the second half of the season and the German dismissed the suggestion that the team will be under pressure to perform in India.

"The pressure is there everywhere. I am enjoying the support here which will be a little more for us," he explained.

Force India has 49 points , with Sauber (40) and Toro Rosso (37) inching closer, and the team is confident to pip Renault in the constructor`s championship and secure the fifth position by the end of the remaining three races.

"We will continue to maintain the progress this season and the ambitions of becoming the fifth in the constructor`s championship seems realistic. We are lying sixth at the moment. Sauber and Toro Roso are good teams but we can keep the pressure," di Resta said.

The team has undertaken a simulation of the race track and was satisfied with the experience.

"I have done the simulator which was quite enjoyable. We have to see how it goes but from what I have seen it is quite enjoyable," Sutil said.

di Resta said that the track was very different from a normal track that they have seen.

"We managed a simulation. The team has got together with all the information that we have. It looks very different to a normal track. The late corner on the track, especially for a new track has lot of contours on it as well. One end of the track has some amount of straights and the other end is very thin," he said, adding that the heat could pose a threat to the tyres on the race day.

Commenting on the increasing accidents in motorsports, di Resta said, "Its a difficult one you know but we all know about motorsports. It was unfortunate what happened to Marco (Simoncelli), with a relatively small crash and unfortunate about the situation but he can be proud that he died while doing something he loved the most. I am a genuine Moto GP fan and he was an inspiration to watch."

MotoGP rider Simoncelli and Indy car driver Dan Wheldon died after suffering a crash during their respective races at Malaysia and Las Vegas respectively in the past two weeks.

Sutil was of the view that the safety measures have been spruced up in F1 following the death of three-time champion Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, a day after the death of another driver Roland Ratzenberger during the qualification race, and the accident of Brazilian Felipe Massa was an exception.

"Felipe (Massa) incident was very unlucky. We did some improvement on the helmets now. Moto GP is a different world. Even on the street, driving a bike is much more dangerous. They have done a lot more on the safety now. No one is killed in a racing (since 1994) and I am sure it will stay like that," he said.

Reacting to a media report that claimed Sutil wanted to know his future with the team, he said, "I am not unhappy. I am happy here. I enjoy everything. Vijay (Mallya) said we will be notified in December so there is nothing much that I can say."

PTI