Mallya Sets Target for Drivers in Monaco GP


PTI

Monte Carlo, May 19: Tired of seeing the cars starting every alternate race from the back of the grid, Force India chairman Vijay Mallya has set the second qualifying session (Q2) target for both Adrian Sutil and Ginacarlo Fisichella for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

Mallya said he had no issues with the drivers' performance on race day but the team has to get into the second qualifying session on Saturday to brighten its chances of a better finish.

"Clearly we have some work to do in qualifying, but I would beg to differ about the lack of improvement in the race. Giancarlo set the eighth quickest time during the race in Spain, and was competitively racing with BMW, Renault and Williams," Mallya said.

"We might not yet be in a points scoring position but I am happy with the rate of progress we are making. We've always said top 10 for the first part of the year and then points if and when possible. This race I think, with the improvements we have and the confidence of our drivers around this circuit, we could very well get into Q2 - that should be the aim for now," he said.

Last year's Monaco Grand Prix was a particularly memorable one for the Force India team with Fisichella celebrating his 200th race start and Sutil racing from the back of the grid to fourth position in the closing stages of the race.

A canny strategy and a faultless drive from Sutil so nearly yielded Force India's first points, until it came to a dramatic conclusion just four laps from the end when Kimi Raikkonen rear-ended the VJM01 coming out of the tunnel.

Mallya said the VJM02 cars would have tweaked wing in Monaco.

"We introduced the new floor and shadow diffuser in Bahrain, plus some major upgrades to the front wing, a further step in Spain and now in Monaco we will have some further changes to the aero package.

"As Monaco is such a high downforce circuit we'll run a modified front and rear wing, although how much we can introduce is obviously limited by the regulations.

"I have been very pleased we have been able to get so many major upgrades through so early in the season; that is just one advantage to being a smaller team. We can be more dynamic and adapt to regulations more quickly," he added.

  

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