Sahara Force India looks forward to the final race of the 2012 season, the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Brazilian GP: Vijay’s Vision
Dr Vijay Mallya sums up 2012 and looks ahead to the season finale.
Dr Mallya, with one race to go, sum up your feelings after a great year of racing…
Looking back at the season so far, we have every reason to feel proud. We’ve scored more points than in any previous season and every year we’ve demonstrated that we’ve gone up the ladder. And we’ve taken fairly significant steps, not just baby steps. Given the tools that we have, which are mostly of the Jordan era, we have done exceptionally well.
What can you tell us about the team’s ambitions going forward?
We had a board meeting in India after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the board has approved a £50 million capital investment programme for the team. We are going to invest heavily in new technology and give more tools to our design team to try and move further up the grid.
What are your thoughts ahead of this weekend?
We hope that Nico will be able to pull off what he did for Williams in 2010 [pole position]. That’s what is needed if we want to catch Sauber! Otherwise I hope we can end the season with a strong result. Two cars in the points would be nice. Up at the front I look forward to seeing how the fight in the drivers’ championship concludes because it’s never over until it’s over. Also, many congratulations to Red Bull for securing the constructors’ championship in Austin.
The team says goodbye to Nico this weekend. How much has he contributed to the team this season?
Nico has been one of the stars this season. He’s delivered exactly what we expected of him and brought a lot to this team. He has a big future in Formula One and we wish him well.
Nico on Brazil
Nico Hulkenberg gets set for his last race with the team and hopes to capture a special result.
Nico, another four points in Austin brings your total to 53. How do you look back on the second half of the year?
It has been very positive. We had some good results in the first half too, but I think we found our consistency after the summer break. I think some of my best races were Japan and Korea where we didn’t necessarily expect to do so well. To score points there was very satisfying. Also, races such as Austin, where I was under so much pressure towards the end are the moments I will remember from the second part of the year. These were races where we maximised everything.
Your two-year spell with the team comes to an end this weekend. How much have you enjoyed being a part of Sahara Force India?
First of all I want to thank everyone for believing in me and giving me the chance to return to Formula One this year as a race driver. I’ve learned a lot during the last two seasons, even as a third driver, and the time has flown by very quickly. It’s a great team of people; they’re fun to work with and I think we can be proud of the results we achieved together. That’s why it was not an easy decision to leave, but I’m happy to be leaving with good memories. The task now is to end the year in style with a great result.
Paul on Brazil
Paul Di Resta looks back on the season.
Paul, after 19 races you’ve scored 46 points. Are you happy with the season as a whole?
I think as a whole it has been a good year. For me the standout races are Bahrain and Singapore – races where everything came together. The second half of the season has been more mixed. When you look at the results on paper, it certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. For various reasons some good results slipped away from us and we’ve had issues that held us back while we tried to understand them. The last race in Austin was looking very positive to begin with, but after my pit stop I just could not get the tyres to work, so I’m hoping that the conditions in Brazil will suit me better.
You raced in Brazil for the first time last year. Tell us about that experience…
I enjoy the circuit, but at the same time it’s quite tricky because of the undulating layout and there are some unusual corners. It’s also quite a tough track on your neck because of the anti-clockwise layout and the high number of left-hand corners. After three races on very new circuits it will make a nice change to go back to one of the classic old-school tracks. It’s a circuit that usually produces good racing and there’s also talk of rain, which would add another element into the mix.