Sahara Force India looks forward to round nine of the season, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
British GP: Vijay’s Vision
We always try to put our best foot forward at Silverstone. It’s where our factory is based and it’s our second home race of the season. It’s also one of the most atmospheric events on the calendar thanks to the passion of the British fans who always show tremendous support. For our team, it’s definitely a highlight of the season.
We arrive back at Silverstone off the back of our strongest performance of the year. In fact, the 16 points scored in Valencia are the most we have ever scored in one weekend. Those points have proved to be very valuable, bringing us within a point of Williams and just 16 adrift of Sauber. So we are catching up with our nearest competitors quite quickly. Now we need to keep up the momentum.
As for the drivers, they both performed brilliantly in Valencia. Paul was the only driver to pull off a one-stop strategy, which was a tremendous effort, while Nico’s fifth place was his best finish in Formula One. I believe this will be a great boost for Nico and it’s just the result he deserves after some unlucky races this year.
We will have some developments for the car this weekend and we will certainly give our all to try and come away with another strong result. I think our performance in Valencia showed just how much we have learned from the tough lessons of Canada in terms of understanding the tyres and being aggressive with the strategy. The aim this weekend is to deliver a repeat performance, pick up points and keep pushing hard to move up the championship table.
Dr Vijay Mallya
Team Principal and Managing Director
Paul on Silverstone
Paul Di Resta looks forward to racing on home soil in front of a patriotic home crowd.
Paul, how is the mood in the camp ahead of your local race?
I think we arrive at Silverstone feeling positive. The performance level we showed in Valencia was a boost for the team and if we can build on that ahead of Silverstone I’m optimistic we can continue to put on a strong show. The guys back at the factory are working hard to give us some developments in time for the weekend so hopefully we can find a bit more performance.
Tell us what the British Grand Prix means to you…
For me, it’s the biggest event we go to, especially in terms of support from the British fans, which is always amazing. You feel it as soon as you arrive on the Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon because the fans are already there camping. The atmosphere is electric and I remember last year the drivers’ parade was one of the highlights of the year – it really sent a shiver through me because of the reaction we received and the fact that there wasn’t a seat left in the place.
What about the high-speed layout of Silverstone – how rewarding is it to drive?
It’s the track that makes you really appreciate what a Formula One car is capable of, especially the aerodynamic grip through the quick corners and the change of direction. Everybody talks about Maggotts and Becketts, but there really is nothing else like them anywhere in the world. I also enjoy the new section and every year we go back there it gets better and better. The new layout has definitely created some more overtaking opportunities, especially with the introduction of DRS, so it’s been the right move.
Nico on Silverstone
Nico Hulkenberg celebrates his best finish in Valencia and talks about the challenge of Silverstone.
Nico, you picked up your best F1 finish in Valencia. Talk us through your feelings as you look back on the race…
I’m very happy with the result especially after such a tough race. I lost KERS from lap seven and so it was hard to overtake or defend, but I just pushed as hard as I could and we managed to come away with a great result. We showed that we were strong all weekend and that we are consistently improving with each race. Now I’m just looking forward to getting back in the car for Silverstone.
Do you feel like the result in Valencia is a breakthrough moment for you and the team?
I think it was a result we needed in order to stay in touch with Williams and Sauber in the championship. It’s a boost for me, of course, but I think it was the sort of result we have been expecting for a while now. We thought we could do something similar in Canada, but things didn’t work out, so it was good to get some solid points in the bag in Valencia and start showing our real potential. It’s true that some cars dropped out of the race, but you still have to do the job, and that’s what we did.
What memories do you have of racing at Silverstone in the past?
I have good memories from Silverstone, both in GP2 and Formula One. It is one of those classic races that bring a smile to your face when you think of some of the corners. I actually describe it as an “old-school” circuit because it’s narrow and you have to be really committed and brave through the quick parts of the lap. It’s super-fast and great fun when you hook up the perfect lap.