Adrian Sutil feels Force India will be more competitive at the Marina Bay Street Circuit while Paul di Resta admits it will be challenge…
Adrian Sutil feels Force India will be more competitive at the Marina Bay Street Circuit due to the downforce while Paul di Resta admits it will be challenge as he is making his debut at the track.
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Q. Adrian, is Singapore a race you enjoy?
AS: “It is quite an interesting circuit. Perhaps not my favourite, but there are some challenging corners and over the years I’ve grown to like it more and more. Plus, I always enjoy the challenge of street circuits.”
Q. Will the track play to the car’s strengths?
AS: “The low downforce configuration of Monza did not really work that well for us so Singapore should be better. It’s the opposite of how it was before: we are now more competitive on downforce circuits, so we should be quite strong. With a good strategy I think anything is possible there.”
Q. The team has had four strong points finisher in a row – it has been a good European campaign hasn’t it?
AS: “Yes, but I think we were lucky in Monza because a few cars retired in front of Paul. Then again, we were due some luck! We overtook Sauber in the championship, which is good, and we need to build on that and get some breathing space.”
Paul di Resta
Q. Paul, you were eighth last time out – a good result for your first visit to Monza…
PdR: “I don’t think we could have achieved any more, to be honest. I think that’s where our performance level was. We struggled in general with the car’s performance and we were fighting all the way, so picking up four points was a great result. There were a lot of different approaches going on in that race with some teams concentrating more on race pace than qualifying. It shows you can never underestimate any team.”
Q. Singapore will be a totally new track for you to learn. Have you done anything special to prepare?
PdR: “Just the usual stuff really, working on the simulator and looking at on-board videos. I was there last year watching and walked the track, so I know the layout. But it’s true that Singapore is probably going to be one of the more difficult tracks to get up to speed on because it’s such a long lap. Also, with any street circuit you need to build up your confidence over the weekend.”
Q. Do you like street tracks in general?
PdR: “I definitely enjoy the challenge and you have to take a slightly different approach to them. It’s all about having as much time in the car so that you can push right to the limits of the track. We will also need to keep any eye on the weather because any rain storms could hamper things. I just hope we get some dry weather while I learn the track.”
Vijay Mallya – team principal:
Q. The team has now had a run of four good results. Has that been satisfying for you?
VM: “Absolutely, that’s what this team needed. We were hoping for double points finishes in these races, but nevertheless one car has scored points. Whether it’s luck I don’t know, but whenever there is a first lap incident Force India is inevitably involved in some way or another! But Paul was eighth at Monza and it is great to leave Europe and go to the flyaway races in sixth position, as we have now overtaken Sauber. That was our objective in Monza and we achieved it.”
Q. You wanted the car to be competitive on all types of tracks in 2011 and clearly that is the case now…
VM: “The technical direction we all agreed on at the factory was to build a car for all circuits. This year’s car probably has more downforce than ever before, and therefore less straight-line speed. However we went well at Spa and Monza, and now we’re going to tracks that require more downforce, which we have. So we’re looking to continue this good performance for the remainder of the year.”
Q. We now travel to Singapore – is it a race you enjoy?
VM: “Yes, it’s a great event in an exciting location and I still believe racing at night adds some extra sparkle. Also, we should not forget there is a big Indian community in Singapore so it would be great to continue our strong run of results there.”
Q. Finally, the FIA’s Charlie Whiting inspected the Indian Grand Prix venue recently. Are you pleased with progress?
VM: “Absolutely, without a doubt. Charlie Whiting’s track inspection report is very flattering. I was exceptionally proud to read his report. He said that everything is done to a very high standard and he has asserted that there is no reason why the track should not be fully ready by the race. As far as the promoters of the track are concerned, they say we can race there tomorrow.”