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Force India sets sights on fifth in the championship

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Q: You have been hoping to get both cars in the points all season. How satisfying was it to do it in Singapore, especially at such a high profile event?
VM: You know very well that we have for whatever reason developed a reputation for being a team that favours low downforce tracks, and that’s why I am often asked about Spa and Monza suiting us. I’ve been telling everyone at the factory that we need to build a car that can perform on all tracks, and I think they did me proud in Singapore. I can’t thank them enough. We brought both cars home in the points. It should have happened before, but we’ve made a few mistakes. But that’s part of motor racing.

Q: In Q3 both cars stayed in the garage to save tyres. Are you pleased that the strategy worked out?
VM: Yes. We knew, and that’s where we’re practical, that the chances of improving our grid position were slim. And therefore we might as well just sit in the garage and preserve the tyres.

Q: How did the race unfold – did everything go to plan?
VM: I have to say that Paul drove exceptionally well on tyres that were degrading fast. He didn’t seem to worry, he just pushed as hard as he could. We actually had to tell him to slow down when the gap with Nico Rosberg increased! But that just shows the spirit of commitment. Obviously both of the drivers were enjoying themselves. On the pit wall we certainly had our hearts in our mouths on tyre degradation, as well as fuel. We were marginal on both. But finally we came through alright.

Q: Was it satisfying to see Paul running third ahead of some big names, even though you knew he was due a pit stop?
VM: That’s all part of race strategy, and it happens. We’ve had cars before running in the top five. You learn not to get overly excited, because you know that’s not going to be the finishing result. But I think we did exceptionally well to finish sixth and eighth.

Q: How do you see the upcoming races?
VM: I’m now looking to the remainder of the season with confidence. I see no reason why we cannot build on the performance we showed in Singapore and get some more excellent results in the final few races. I was focussed on getting ahead of Sauber and securing sixth in the championship. Now I’ve got my sights set on fifth, and I think we can do it, with a bit of luck!

Q: Adrian is something of a Suzuka specialist, but Japan will be a new experience for Paul. How do you see that weekend?
VM: I think Paul had more to learn in Singapore, and he did very well! I think Suzuka should be a whole lot easier for him. For me as a team principal both Adrian and Paul are dear to me, and I back both of them equally. If one has the advantage of experience over the other, it doesn’t mean that the other won’t perform well. I’m sure both of them will give it their best shot.

Source: Force India


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