Vijay Mallya gets set for the very first Russian Grand Prix.
Vijay, points for both cars in Japan, but the race was overshadowed by other events…
“Everybody at Sahara Force India continues to send support to Jules and the Marussia team. We know Jules well having worked with him during 2012. His recovery is the main priority at the moment.”
Four races remain and the team is still sitting in fifth place in the championship…
“We are hanging on in there and we know we face a big task in the final four races to maintain this advantage. We are certainly motivated and will do all we can to add performance to the car and score points. In Formula One, anything can happen – we’ve seen it over and over again – and with double points on offer in Abu Dhabi there is all to play for.”
The sports heads to a new venue this week – what are you expecting from Sochi?
“It is an important race for us and for the global expansion of the sport. Russia is an emerging market for Formula One and it’s big enough and important enough for everyone in the sport to look forward to going there. These huge markets are the kinds of places that we should be concentrating on, which is why I continue to push for India to be back on the calendar as well. We need to embrace these huge audiences where there is great potential to increase the popularity of our sport.”
Driver’s View: Nico Hülkenberg
Nico Hülkenberg looks forward to his first visit to Russia.
Nico: “It’s always fun to explore a new place and this will be my first visit to Russia. So far I’ve only seen a few photos of the paddock and the track layout so I will arrive there with a very open mind about what to expect. However, I do have high expectations because I know that the organisers have made a big effort to make the race a success.
“It’s hard to look at a track on paper and really get an understanding of how it will feel to drive. I prefer to go there and experience things before I make judgements and talk about track characteristics. So in that sense it’s too early for me to compare it with another circuit. What is clear is that there are some really quick sections and a lot of right-angled corners.
“It’s fun to learn a new track and I look forward to the first few laps of free practice. I would say that after about 10 laps you’ve done your learning and start to feel comfortable. After that, you can focus more on improving the car’s performance.”
Driver’s View: Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez looks forward to a new challenge in Sochi.
Sergio: “I’m really looking forward to the race in Sochi. It’s a country that will be totally new for me and so it’s exciting to go there for the first time. I will feel like a tourist looking around the city.
“The location of the track inside the Olympic park is very unusual. If I get the opportunity I will definitely explore a bit. From the photographs I’ve seen it looks to be a very impressive facility. There are some long straights, some tight corners, and I think it will feel like a street circuit because the walls are close to the track in a lot of areas.
“To prepare for a new track I normally walk the track and cycle it a few times. Normally you need about 10 laps before you can really start doing performance runs. Nobody knows the track so it will be the same situation for all of us. We all start from zero.”