Force India looking to bounce back at Korean Grand Prix
Force India will aim for an end-of-season push at the forthcoming Korean Grand Prix with a series of new updates to their VJM03 car at the Yeongam circuit on Sunday.
Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi both failed to finish the Japanese Grand Prix, but team boss Vijay Mallya is confident of turning around the team’s fortunes as they head into the unknown in South Korea.
“We were disappointed by the Japanese event,” said Mallya. “We didn’t make the most of qualifying and we had a double retirement in the race. We’ve got some work to do to maintain our advantage in the constructors’ championship.”
Several teams took new parts to Suzuka, but the atrocious weather during practice meant that few opted to run the upgrades with limited dry running available, instead opting to save them for the Formula 1’s newest circuit.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into Korean Grand Prix,” added Mallya. “We’ve got some changes to front wing and a small mechanical update that we didn’t use in Suzuka because of the weather.
“We are also looking at introducing some new aero tweaks to strengthen performance, but of course we want to make sure any effort is targeted and will give a genuine improvement.
“We’ve tried to gather us much information on both the facility and the area in advance to make it as smooth as possible.”
The circuit boasts three long straights as well as a long, twisty section which could provide opportunity for overtaking as the track experiences its first competitive racing.
And Sutil, who has scored 47 of Force India’s 60 points in 2010, agrees after running on the simulator: “I drove the Yeongam circuit on the simulator earlier this week to get a head start.
“It looks as though it is a good circuit with plenty of interesting corners and sections that could provide some overtaking opportunities. I would say, overall it’s a medium speed circuit,” he said.
“We’ve got to do better in qualifying this race and then of course finish. It was a disappointment not to get to the end [in Japan] as the car has been reliable this year, but it just makes me more determined to get points this time out, both for myself and for the team.
Liuzzi is also looking to turn his fortunes around, after DNFs in his last two races: “I now can’t wait to get out there in Korea to get a proper race. There was nothing I could do about the outcome of my Japanese Grand Prix.
“We’ve got a couple of new tweaks on the car as well that will make the programme even more charged.”
Force India are currently sixth in the constructors’ championship, just two points ahead of mid-field rivals Williams who have secure five points’ finishes in the last three races. Sutil, meanwhile, is just seven points behind 10th-placed Michael Schumacher in the drivers’ championship.