x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Mallya looks for Force India to push on following Hockenheim disaster

The Force India team principal warns his drivers there can be no repeat of the calamitous weekend that saw them fail to score in Germany.

Vijay Mallya, the Force India team principal, has warned his drivers there can be no repeat of the calamitous weekend that saw them fail to score in Germany. The team failed to get a car in the top 10 for only the second time in 2010 due to a number of mistakes, and Mallya is expecting an improved performance at this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. "Germany was very disappointing for the team, but I see it as a blip rather than anything more significant," Mallya said.

The problems began in qualifying at Hockenheim as Vitantonio Liuzzi crashed out in the first 20-minute session, which led to him starting from 22nd on the grid. Adrian Sutil could only qualify 14th, but due to a change of gearbox was relegated five places and started 19th. Then in the race, Force India's miserable weekend was compounded when both drivers were forced to make an additional stop due to a mix-up over tyres, leaving the team without a point from a grand prix for only the second time this season.

"We didn't get to grips with the track and one issue led directly into the next," Mallya said. "Fortunately, it was only the second time this year we have missed out on the points and, more importantly, we did not lose any ground to our main rivals so we got off lightly, all things considered. "But we need to finish with at least one car in the points at each race from now on." Force India are sixth in the constructors' standings with 47 points. Sutil has scored 35 of those, with Liuzzi the other 12.

Mallya expects an improved showing at the Hungaroring on Sunday, with a number of new updates on the car in Hungary this weekend. "We can be confident we have enough strength in current performance and the new developments coming," he said. "On Friday we will test the blown diffuser, which we believe will give us a big step forward. We will analyse the findings and any data will be fed back into the programme."

* PA