2017 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX, PREVIEW
Sahara Force India gets ready for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on the streets of Baku.
Vijay Mallya: “At the start of the year, when we launched the VJM10, I said we wanted to carry on where we ended 2016 as the fourth-placed team. I even dared to dream that we could look ahead of us towards the top three. I think our performance in Montreal showed that such ambitions were not too outlandish. To be fighting with Red Bulls and Ferraris feels pretty good. We are not consistently at their level, but on our day we can fight with the top teams. It’s a credit to everybody at Force India that we have come away from the first seven races with 71 points – a fantastic achievement.
“Montreal also showed the strengths of our driver line-up. Sergio and Esteban are very closely-matched and they are pushing each other hard on the track. They both want to beat each other and this healthy competition will help drive us forward. They will get the best out of each other. We will continue to allow them to race freely, but we will always balance this with the best interests of the team. You can’t pre-plan these things and every situation will be different.
“There is a lot of optimism ahead of this weekend. Last year Baku turned out to be a good race for the team and we believe we can deliver another strong performance this year. The progress we’ve made with the VJM10 since the start of the season has been considerable and we have brought developments to the car at every race so far. All the hard work is paying off and I’m proud of our results.”
Sergio: “There were a lot of things said after Montreal and lots of different opinions, but I’m pleased the team decided to let us race without team orders. I will always fight for the best result for the team and I’m proud of our race. There were discussions on the radio about switching positions with Esteban, but my pace was good and I was running close to Daniel