Vijay Mallya sums up the team’s year and looks forward to the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Vijay, the race in Brazil produced a mixed result for the team, but the VJM07 showed good pace on the whole…
“It was indeed a race with two very different outcomes for us. After qualifying, we knew Checo’s race was already heavily compromised by his grid drop. The pit lane speeding penalty in the race just put an end to any hope of recovery for him, despite a strong start. But we knew Nico had a good chance of points and we were successful in delivering that. At the end of the race, he was running two seconds a lap quicker than the two Ferraris ahead and he finished just behind Kimi. It was a very good effort from him and a good strategy by the team. All season we have delivered very strong race pace and Brazil was another example of that.”
On to the final race, and the battle for fifth place is still open…
“It will not be easy, but we will give it everything we have and see if that will be enough. Whatever happens in Abu Dhabi, we already have sixth place in the championship secured, so there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. We are usually competitive in Abu Dhabi and I am really looking forward to it. As a big Formula One fan, I am also eager to see the final chapter of the Championship battle between Nico and Lewis – it will be exciting.”
Looking back at 2014 – how would you sum up the team’s campaign?
“I believe we have a lot to be proud of this season. We took on some huge challenges at the start of a new era of Formula One and we produced a competitive car. We took the fight to the biggest names in the sport; we got back on the podium on merit and did so without compromising on our philosophy. I feel that in Nico and Checo we have found a pair of drivers who are capable of pushing each other and the team at every race and this is helping us maximise the good work done by everyone at our headquarters and trackside. In 2014 we scored the biggest points total in our history and we want to build on this result to create an even stronger 2015.”
Driver’s View: Nico Hulkenberg
Nico looks ahead to the final race of his most successful season in Formula One.
Nico: “Abu Dhabi is a nice venue: very modern and with great facilities. The racing looks really cool on TV as the day turns into night and the track is pretty challenging for us in the car as well. The light is not really an issue once you are in the cockpit, but the layout makes it very easy to make mistakes and lose time, especially in qualifying. It’s very stop-start, with a few chicanes and tight corners, so it is very difficult to get a good rhythm.
“It was nice to be back on the pace in Brazil and hopefully we will have similar pace in Abu Dhabi. It has been a great year for everyone in the team and it would be nice to end the season in style with some more points.”
Driver’s View: Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez looks forward to racing at Yas Marina.
Sergio: “Abu Dhabi is a special race on a circuit I really enjoy. It’s where I first drove a Formula One car and that is something that will remain with me forever. The facilities are great and the track is not easy to master: this year we also have double points and that gives you even more motivation to do well. Everything in the lap requires some compromise – you need a set-up that works on fast corners, stop-start turns and the twisty final sectors. You also need to think carefully about your choice of helmet visor: you start the race with a low sun that requires a dark visor, and end the race in the night needing a clear one.