Force India encouraged by best ever start

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2 April 2014 by TF1T Staff

Force India are encouraged by their start to the 2014 season which co-owner Vijay Mallya says is their best since the days when the team was owned by Eddie Jordan.

Nico Hulkenberg already has 18 points to his name thanks to a 6th and 5th in Australia and Malaysia respectively. Sergio Perez has suffered some bad luck, scoring just one point in Australia, whilst he failed to even start in Malaysia due to a software issue.

At present though, the team has nine points more than they had at the same time in 2013 to put them fifth in the Constructors' championship, and Mallya is confident they can move forward.

"It's always nice to see a Sahara Force India in front," he said of Hulkenberg's brief stint in the lead last weekend. "You can't just find yourself leading a grand prix by accident. Things have got to be in the right place at the right time, and you must be good enough to be able to be up there in front.

"We've still got some catching up to do if we want to be a regular podium contender," he added.

"We've had our best start to a season in our history, since the Jordan times, and despite only one car finishing in Malaysia we are sitting in fifth in the championship. Let's hope we put on a strong show going forward."

Had Perez started the race, Mallya believes they would have had both cars in the points, which would have seen them leapfrog Williams to fourth in the championship.

"We always knew that we could be competitive and were capable of fighting with the traditional frontrunners, as Nico demonstrated once again. He's got that huge competitive spirit in him and he's obviously hugely talented.

"It was sad that we encountered some unexpected issues with Checo's car and that he had to sit out the race, otherwise judging from what Nico did, we could easily have expected a strong double points finish."