Force India is targeting more podium finishes over the remainder of the 2016 Formula 1 season after Sergio Perez’s rostrum result in Baku.
For the first time in its nine year history, Force India has scored more than one podium in a season, with Perez finishing third in Monaco and Azerbaijan.
And although the Silverstone-based squad has diverted its focus on to its 2017 challenger, team principal Vijay Mallya is confident of scoring more headline results this season.
“There has been a lot of talk about the team switching focus to 2017, but this doesn’t mean we won’t be strong for the rest of 2016,’’ Mallya said.
“There is a lot of performance still to be extracted from our current package and I am confident we can put on a good show in the races to come.”
“‘Having scored two podiums in three races, we’ve got a taste for success and I would like to see us pick up more silverware before the end of the year.”
Meanwhile, Perez, who has been the star driver for Force India this season, expects another decent haul of points from this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.
“I travel to Austria on a high and determined to deliver another strong result,’’ Perez said. “We’ve made a lot of progress with the car since Barcelona and I expect us to be competitive this weekend
“There are a few decent overtaking opportunities, especially the big braking zone at turn two, so there should be some good action in the race.”
Teammate Nico Hulkenberg echoed Perez’s views, saying upgrades introduced in Barcelona place the team in a strong position heading into Spielberg.
“We look strong coming to Austria but we’re not taking anything for granted,’’ Hulkenberg said. “The track is fun and it has a very nice flow, but it can easily catch you out, especially the last few corners, which are quite technical. I had a great race in Austria last year and have a good feeling about this weekend.
“The car is working well and we’ve taken a big step forward since the start of the year so there is the potential for another good result,’’ he added.
by Rachit Thukral