Top

Vijay Mallya wants results now

March 6, 2009 by RaceBuds · Leave a Comment 

JEREZ (Spain): The words rang calm, but the message was firm. “Past is passe. Others might talk and write what they want, but I knew what I wanted. And it has gone as per expectations. But this year there will be no excuses. I want results.”

That was Vijay Mallya, the Force India Formula One team boss, talking to reporters during this season’s first official testing session in progress at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit.

“It was actually a 2007 car, with some modifications, that we used last season. The main aim was to compete, and that we did. That we came close to be among the points a few times, with a slow car, is an achievement in itself. But we have a brand new car this year. Of course, I am expecting a much better showing this time,” Mallya added.

Does he expect Force India to be on the podium? “It’s too early to say that. Remember, a team like Ferrari took five years to win its first points. And they had a driver like Michael Schumacher! Where was Ferrari before Schumacher? Let’s not have unrealistic expectations.”

What was his feel about the new car? “I asked the drivers, Giancarlo (Fisichella) and (Adrian) Sutil, and both said it looked promising. I go by what my drivers say, because they are the ones who are going to drive it, not me.”

What, according to him, was more important for a team’s success – a fast car or a good driver?

“It’s a combination of both. But then, there are exceptions too. Take the case of Renault. Whatever points they scored last year was because of Fernando Alonso. That he managed to do it with a slow car is even more commendable. I want my drivers to win points like that, by merit, not by default.”

An Indian team, but no Indian drivers? Is there not a single Indian driver good enough to force Force India’s dreams? “I’m firmly of the belief that in a country of more than a billion, there has to be a Lewis Hamilton or Alonso somewhere. We are setting up a programme where we would be sponsoring anyone who we feel has the right talent to excel. Yes, its my dream to see an Indian driving the force India car.”

While he’s excited by the prospect that India is likely to host an F1 race by 2011, he makes it clear that he still would have preferred a street circuit in New Delhi.

“It would have been one of the best in the world had they listened to my proposal. I had even shown Bernie (Ecclestone) the map of the circuit, and he too sounded quite excited. F1 cars zooming through the capital’s streets, wow! But suddenly Suresh Kalmadi goes up to Bernie and tells him he can build a F1 circuit! Who am I to stop him? I am happy anyway. I only want a race in India,” Mallya said.

Read Full Story: Click Here

Bottom