Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, hopes for another strong performance in Budapest this weekend.
Vijay Mallya: “We head to Budapest in a sombre mood after the events of the weekend. The thoughts of everyone at Sahara Force India are with the friends and family of Jules Bianchi. We had the pleasure of working with Jules during 2012 and he left a strong impression on everyone in the team. We came to know an outstanding young man and a tremendous talent who was destined for great things in Formula One. The world has lost a true racer and we have all lost a friend.
“It will be hard to get back to business, but we go to Hungary looking to build on our competitive showing at Silverstone. The debut of the b-spec car met our expectations and has delivered the performance step we anticipated. It’s a boost for everyone in the team and we are moving in a good direction for the second half of the season. Over the next few races we will work hard to extract even more performance and build on this momentum.
“The double points finish at Silverstone has consolidated our fifth place in the Championship. We’ve picked up 28 points from the last four races and there is a good opportunity to score more points in Budapest. At the start of the year we said we would target fifth place in the standings and that’s certainly an achievable goal. We are now looking at the teams ahead of us and will try and close the gap further.”
Nico on Budapest
Nico hopes for more points this weekend in Hungary.
Nico: “I've always had good memories of racing in Hungary, ever since I first raced there in 2009 in GP2. It’s an unusual track with a tight and twisty layout. You have to find your rhythm because all the corners flow into each other and it’s easy to lose your momentum with just a small mistake. Away from the track it’s always a popular race with everyone in the paddock. The weather is usually hot and sunny, and the city is beautiful with lots of cool places to explore.
“The last race at Silverstone was a lot of fun. I’m very pleased with the b-spec update and happy with our performance across the whole weekend. After the first couple of laps in the new car I knew we had made a step in the right direction and I had a smile on my face. We obviously need to keep exploring our package, but it was satisfying to get a good result at the team’s home race.
“The engineers have spent the last couple of weeks digging deep into the data because we can’t afford to stand still. We need to keep pushing in this direction and getting more performance from the car. There’s a good feeling in the team and I think we can be competitive again this weekend. The low and medium-speed corners should suit us and the tyre choices are a bit softer than Silverstone, which should help us.”
Sergio on BudapestSergio Perez hopes to end the first half of the season with a strong result.
Sergio: “The Hungarian Grand Prix is always a cool event. The fans are very enthusiastic and they show lots of support for all the drivers. It's definitely an enjoyable weekend in a very historic city.
“The track itself is very technical: you need good traction to exit the low-speed corners and you have to be very accurate and precise. Because it's so twisty, it feels like you are always in a corner and it’s not easy to follow other cars or overtake, so a good qualifying result becomes even more important. It's also quite demanding on the tyres, so it's important to look after them when you can.
“It's the last race before the summer holidays and getting a strong result in Hungary is always a nice boost. I'm feeling optimistic that we can go there and race for some good points, especially with the performance step we made at Silverstone. We are still learning about the new car, but I feel there is great potential to get some special results before the end of the year.”