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Australian GP preview quotes: Force India

Bg2Ak9DCQAEPP1-Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
2013 Qualifying – 11th, 2013 Race – DNF

“It’s been three races in Melbourne and I’ve still not completed a racing lap! They say bad luck comes in groups of three so hopefully attempt number four will work out better! The car has come a long way since Jerez. We made steps at each test and I think we made very good use of the time we had available. We signed off a lot of things during testing and I don’t think we’re in bad shape. There is always more you can do, but we’re pretty well prepared. I feel comfortable (in the car), but I think this feeling will grow stronger during the season. The cars are different compared to last year: the corner speeds are lower because there is less downforce and the engine behaviour is quite different. So it’s a new challenge and it’s difficult to tell just from testing how it will feel during a race weekend. It’s not easy (to set expectations). Testing only tells you so much, but I think we still have some performance in our pocket. I just hope we are competitive and can race for good points.”

perez2-0Sergio Perez, Force India
2013 Qualifying – 15th, 2013 Race – 11th

“It’s the first race of the year so I’ve been looking forward to this moment for a long time. I hope we can have a great start of the season. The new rules are interesting and the cars are quite challenging. There is less downforce now, but there is a lot of torque from the engine so it’s quite a different feeling. You also have to think about managing the fuel load and we know that Melbourne is a circuit with high fuel consumption. There are more things to do in terms of managing the systems on the car so it’s more complicated than last year. The pre-season testing has given us enough time to get to know the new systems so I don’t foresee any issue come the first race. I think we are feeling well prepared going into Melbourne. Testing has had its ups and downs, as always, but we ended the second Bahrain test in a good position. There are still areas we need to improve, but I think we have made a good start and we can build on that. It’s always a good feeling to start with a new team. I had a full winter to get to know everyone and I’m feeling ready now. The team is very hungry and I hope we can achieve some great things this year.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
“It’s never easy to make predictions and this year there are so many more unknowns than usual. I think we can arrive in Melbourne feeling happy about the work we’ve done over the winter. How that will translate to a race weekend is hard to say, but I think it’s important that an element of unpredictability has returned. There is plenty of interest around Formula One at the moment and that’s a good thing.” Images © Force India

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