We`ve delivered on promise: Mallya

Last Updated: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 21:53

New Delhi: A huge monkey off Force India`s
back, team chairman Vijay Mallya today said the Formula One
outfit has actually delivered on its promise of a podium
finish one year before the 2010 deadline it had set.

"If you remember, we had promised to be among points in
2009 and be on the podium in 2010. So we have actually
delivered on our podium promise in advance," Mallya told from
Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium after Giancarlo Fisichella drove a
fairytale race to finish second in the Belgian Grand Prix to
score the team`s first points.

After Fisichella grabbed the pole position yesterday,
Mallya had called it the most memorable day of his Formula One

Asked if he would like to change it now and call today
the most memorable day, Mallya said, "I don`t think I can swap
the days.”

"To get the pole position was a huge achievement in
itself, which will go down in the history (of Indian
motorsports). Similarly, today`s second place finish is also a
momentous occasion which will go down in history."

Mallya took the occasion to scotch rumours about the
team`s financial health and said Force India was not short on

"Our performance today proved that money alone cannot buy
you success. We had a rather small budget but with the right
kind of effort and direction, we have become a competitive
side," Mallya said.

"We are not short on resource but we spend our money
wisely and intelligently," Mallya added.

Looking ahead to the five remaining races, the liquor
baron said Force India would do everything to prove that
today`s result was no flash in the pan.

"When you do well, you raise the expectation and the bar
gets raised. But this is what sports is all about. If you
cannot raise the bar, you have no business being here," he

It took Force India their 30th races to win their first
F1 points but Mallya put the entire thing in perspective.

"We bought the Spykar team at the end of 2007 and raced
with Spykar chassis and the same management in 2008.”

"I consider 2009 as Force India`s first year on the
circuit, for we had new management and new car with a Mercedes
engine and McLaren gearbox. We were confident of becoming a
strong mid-field team and since the Australian Grand Prix, we
were no more the backmarkers.”

"We did not have a diffuser early this year but once the
authorities cleared it, we got an interim diffuser. We kept
pace with innovation and the update at Valencia proved a huge
step forward," he explained.

He once again dismissed `speculation` that Fisichella
was about to join Ferrari and said, "I don`t want to talk
about speculation. I have not been approached by anyone yet."

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First Published: Sunday, August 30, 2009 - 21:53

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