Formula 1 – Force India 2011 Grand Prix Of Europe Preview

June 22, 2011

Formula 1

Chairman and Team Principal, Dr. Vijay Mallya, looks forward to racing in Valencia.

The Canadian Grand Prix was one of those races that we will remember for a long time. It was a day full of drama and excitement and was a great advert for Formula One. Despite the torrential rain showers and delay to the race, the fans still packed the grandstands and showed their support for all the teams. It was fitting that they got to see such a memorable race.

Of course, it was a weekend of unrealised potential for Force India. The luck did not go our way and both drivers were a little over-enthusiastic. This is all part of racing and we will take the disappointment on the chin and come back stronger next time. It was all the more frustrating because the VJM04 was extremely competitive, we had a good strategy and we missed a chance to pick up some big points.

After the low downforce challenge of Montreal, it’s back to high downforce in Valencia. We continue to push hard with the development of the car, mainly on the aero side with several small detailed additions this weekend.

Adrian on Valencia

Adrian Sutil hopes for another strong showing in Valencia.

I think we all enjoy visiting Valencia. The city is beautiful and the weather is great, but to be honest the track is not one of my favourites. The lap is made up mainly of straights and hairpins so it’s not the most challenging place to go racing. Although the walls are close, it doesn’t really feel like a street circuit and it’s nowhere close to racing in Monaco.

I have good memories in Valencia, especially from last year’s race. Although we struggled in qualifying, I got lucky in the race with the safety car and made up quite a few positions to finish sixth. It would be great to have another result like that to make up for the disappointment we had in Canada.

In the past it was always very difficult to overtake in Valencia, even with such long straights. That problem should be solved this year with the DRS available and I expect there to be much more overtaking in the race.

Paul on Valencia

Paul Di Resta gears up for his first race on the streets of the Spanish port.

It’s difficult for me to talk much about Valencia having only done one practice session there last year. What I do remember is that I quite enjoyed the track and it wasn’t too difficult to learn. Although it’s a long lap there are not that many difficult corners and the main characteristic is the long straight.

Because of the long straights I think Valencia is another track where we will see a big advantage with the DRS. That should make some good opportunities for overtaking and it will be interesting to see how the FIA approach this when setting the DRS activation zone so that overtaking doesn’t become too easy. Tyre wear will also be a crucial factor for the weekend because it’s another street track and it’s difficult to predict how the tyres will perform.

In terms of my objectives, I think I’d be fairly happy if we can be pushing to make the top ten in qualifying and racing for points. We saw in Canada that this is a realistic goal and I think the layout of the track should play to the strengths of our car. Hopefully we will have some new parts coming as well so that we can focus on taking another step forward.

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