Force India team principal, Vijay Mallya reflects on the team’s Singapore result and looks ahead to the challenge of Suzuka.
“We come to Japan after three consecutive points finishes and determined to keep up our momentum. The updated VJM08 has shown it can compete well on all kinds of circuit so the challenge of Suzuka, which is a pretty unique track, is something to which we look forward. Unfortunately, Nico will have a grid penalty to deal with, but I am confident he’ll make up for it.
“Suzuka is one of the classic tracks in Formula One and another important step in our battle for fifth place in the championship. The medium-speed corners that make up most of the circuit will provide a good test for the VJM08 and will give us another indication about the effectiveness of the upgrades we brought to Singapore. We are not letting go in the development race and we will keep pushing until the end, so it is crucial we gain performance with every new step we take.”
Sergio Perez looks forward to the challenge of Suzuka.
Sergio: “We have taken a lot of encouragement from the result in Singapore, which was my third points finish in a row, and I think we can score well in Japan too. When you see how the VJM08 has developed and the results we are achieving, it tells you that we can be competitive on every track and Suzuka shouldn’t be any different.”
“Suzuka is one of those tracks that gives you a very special feeling. It’s quick, with some great corners, and it’s a real challenge to hook up the perfect lap. You need to have confidence and be very committed, especially in the first sector which has a fantastic flow. When you have a car that is working well it’s one of the best places to drive a Formula One car.
“Visiting Japan is always interesting and you can see how much the people love Formula One. The fans are very kind and have always given me a lot of support. It’s definitely a special race.”
Nico Hülkenberg looks forward to a strong showing on one of his favourite tracks.
Nico: “The benefit of back-to-back races is that you can get back in the saddle right after a disappointing race. Singapore was a missed opportunity to score a lot of points but I’ve put it behind me now: I would rather focus on the positives and on the good pace we showed until the accident.
“The week we spend in Japan is always good fun. All the drivers love Suzuka because it’s a classic, old-school track with some very special corners: the Esses, Degner, Spoon and 130R. It’s very fast, with high g-forces and you really feel the grip and performance from the downforce. In that sense, it’s also very physical on your neck.
“The challenge of Suzuka is making sure you find the right rhythm. The lap is technical and you have to be precise because almost all the corners flow into the next one. That’s why a small mistake can be very costly in terms of laptime if you lose the flow of the whole lap.
“I’m a big fan of Japanese cooking and culture. You also see how much the race means to the fans because they wait for us at the hotel every morning and are always very respectful. ”