Vijay Mallya reflects on the first ten races of the season.
After ten races the team has scored just shy of 100 points. Has the season met your expectations?
We are in a good place and the whole team should feel proud of our performance in the first half of the season. We’ve scored 39 points more compared to the first half of last season and that’s an indication of our consistency. We’ve picked up points in every race and we’re in the middle of a very close fight in the championship. We are pushing hard to be even more competitive, but we’ve certainly delivered in the first ten races.
What can we expect from Sahara Force India in the second half of the season?
The development of the VJM07 continues and much of what we learn this year can be carried over into 2015. So it’s a very different situation compared with last year when we had to switch very early to develop the new car. Performance-wise we have some developments which will be on the car soon and that should give us a useful step. In terms of targets I certainly feel that more podiums are possible. We need to end the season in the same way we started it.
Driver’s View: Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hülkenberg gets ready for round eleven of the season in Budapest.
Nico, ten consecutive races in the points so far this season. Can you make it eleven in Budapest?
We will certainly try our best. So far it’s been a great season – my best year in Formula One and the best year for the team too. The car has worked well on every kind of track so if we keep working as we are I think we can have a strong second half of the year as well. There are still some developments to come, mainly on the aero side, so that will help us stay competitive.
The Hungaroring is a medium-speed track. Talk us through the lap…
The circuit is challenging and leaves little room for mistakes. The second sector has several corners that are all connected, so you need to hook them all up to be quick. If you run wide on one corner you can lose the flow of the lap. Overtaking is difficult, too, even with the DRS. There is one straight, but it’s not that long.
Is Hungary a race you look forward to?
It’s a good event with a nice atmosphere and lots of fans. I love the city of Budapest with the beautiful buildings and old architecture so it’s nice to explore a bit. The weather is always hot, which usually helps us and our car has worked well on tracks with slow corners so that’s a good sign.
Driver’s View: Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez wants a strong showing in Budapest before the summer break.
Sergio, are you looking forward to racing in Hungary this weekend?
Hungary is definitely a great event and it’s usually one of the hottest races of the year. It’s the last race before the summer break so you always want to do well so that you can enjoy the break, otherwise it can feel very long.
It’s quite a compact circuit – is it one you enjoy?
It’s a really interesting circuit and you have to think very carefully about the way you set your car up. It’s a very technical lap and you have to consider the weaknesses of your car and set it up around them. It’s also very demanding on the tyres because you are always in a corner. The hot weather will make that even more challenging.
What expectations do you have for this weekend?
I was a bit disappointed after Silverstone and Hockenheim because things did not really work out for me in the races. So it’s important to score some good points before the summer break.