Force India boss Vijay Mallya hopes that the Monaco podium will mark as a turning point in his outfit’s 2016 campaign.
The Silverstone-based team started the season on a sober note, scoring only 14 points in the first five races. Moreover, Nico Hulkenberg admitted that the team was out-developed by its rivals over the course of the winter, leaving it seventh in the standings.
But having introduced a major upgrade in Barcelona and finished on the rostrum in Monaco, Mallya believes Force India’s season has finally got going.
“Monaco was a very significant weekend for us,’’ he said. “It’s one of the most famous races in the world and I felt incredibly proud to see Checo standing on the podium.”
“The 23 points we claimed in Monaco lifted us to fifth place in the championship. I’ve been saying all season that our luck needs to change and I hope that Monaco represents a turning point.”
Top 10 the goal
As always, Mallya is targeting a top 10 finish in Canada as it consolidates fifth position in the standings.
“We now have some momentum and I believe we can push on and keep racking up the points in the races to come,’’ he said. “Montreal should play to our strengths and I’m feeling optimistic that we can get both cars well inside the top ten in qualifying and the race.”
Perez optimistic of strong result
Sergio Perez is hoping for a strong finish in Montreal, with the Mercedes engine on the back of the VJM09 well-suited to the circuit. The Mexican himself has a strong record in Canada, having scored a podium in 2012.
“Montreal is one of my favourite circuits: I was on the podium there in 2012; I had one of my best races in 2014 and I feel positive ahead of this year’s race,’’ he said.
“I think we can be quick there and the changes we’ve made to the car recently have made a big difference. I have a good feeling with the car; it’s giving me confidence to really push and that’s very important for a track like Montreal.”
by Rachit Thukral