Force India preview the Austrian GP


Fresh from a good points haul in Canada, it is no surprise that Nico Hulkenberg is in upbeat mood ahead of the race at the Red Bull Ring.

Nico Hulkenberg: "Finishing in the points in Canada was an important result for me. I had a great feeling with the car and everything came together nicely. I think we have a good opportunity for another strong result in Austria.

"I had never raced on this track before last year – not even in the junior formulas – so it was a new experience for me. It’s a fun track and it flows nicely, but there are a few corners that can catch you out, so it's not easy to get a good lap together. It’s one of those tracks that looks easier on paper because it’s actually quite technical in many areas.

"Austria is a great place to race: the track is in a beautiful setting in the mountains and there’s a very relaxed atmosphere. Without the German Grand Prix this year, I expect a lot of German fans to come to Austria this year so there should be a big crowd once again."

Sergio Perez: "The race in Austria is one I’m really looking forward to, both for the driving and everything that is around the event. The circuit has a simple layout and few corners and so the margins between drivers are smaller compared to some other tracks. It means a mistake in qualifying can set you back a long way. It requires a lot of concentration but it's fun to drive, with elevation changes and some very tricky corners.

"Not scoring in Canada was a disappointment so I want to make up for that in Austria. Last year it was not an easy race for me, starting far down the order [P16 following a grid penalty], but we had a brilliant race, scored well and set the fastest lap of the race.

"I remember getting to the Red Bull Ring for the first time last year, having never raced there, and meeting the fans. They had been waiting for the race for a long time and they helped create a great atmosphere. The Austrians have a great passion for Formula One – just like the Mexicans – and they are very proud of their Grand Prix."

Vijay Mallya – Team Principal: "Sahara Force India heads to Austria with a lot of positivity following a competitive showing in Canada. 21 points from seven races is a solid effort and keeps us well placed in the championship as we approach the middle of the season. The four points in Montreal were an important boost for Nico, who was a bit unlucky in Monaco and it’s good to see him back in the points.

"Of course, this weekend's race is the first event to take place after Nico's incredible Le Mans victory. The 24 Hours is one of the great spectacles of motorsport: it is an amazing race that demands total commitment from drivers and cars. Nico's performance displayed his immense talent and made all of us at Sahara Force India proud. I truly hope he will be boosted by this success and translate it into another great performance in Austria.

"There’s been a lot of talk about the development of the VJM08 and we are still on course to introduce an important step in Silverstone next month. In the meantime, the team has done well to squeeze more performance from our current package. The high-speed layout of Canada certainly played to the strengths of the Mercedes engine and, as Austria is regarded as another ‘power’ circuit’, I would like to think we can be in the top ten once again."