Force India has all but admitted that it has no hope of overhauling McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship standings at this weekend’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.
The team will instead keep attention on its mirrors, with team boss Vijay Mallya warning that there will be “no room for complacency” as it tries to fend off a rapidly closing Sauber team in its battle to hand on to sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix at Interlagos, team principal Vijay Mallya bemoaned the team’s troubled weekend last time out at the Circuit of the Americas, which saw Adrian Sutil crash out on the opening lap and teammate Paul di Resta finish outside the points after being forced into a late second pit stop when his tyres gave up.
“It was important that we secured such strong results in India and Abu Dhabi. As I said before Austin, it gave us some breathing space and we are still 24 points ahead of [Sauber],” Mallya said in the team’s preview media release.
“I think the odds are in our favour, but there’s no room for complacency: we need to make sure we get the job done in Interlagos.
“In the races leading up to Austin we had done very well with managing tyres and pulling off aggressive strategies. Last weekend, however, with the hard compound we weren’t able to manage the tyres in the same way and so our attempt with Paul did not pay off. As for Adrian, he was just unlucky, but accidents are part of the game and I am sure it will motivate him to finish the season well.”
Provided it can limit the damage to Sauber this weekend, the team will still equal its best-ever result in the Constructors’ Championship standings, when it claimed sixth overall in 2011 with the same driver line-up.
But Brazil can throw up unusual races, as the team well knows. Last year, Nico Hülkenberg sensationally led the race in damp conditions and was on course for a maiden win for he and the team until he was taken out by Lewis Hamilton at Turn 1.
“The weather forecast is for some rain and that could introduce an element of unpredictability,” Mallya added.
“We have good memories of Interlagos. It’s a lovely track too and I’m looking forward to it.”