Mallya wants Force India on the podium

Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Force India F1 Team Owner on the grid with Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 and Manfred Zimmerman (GER) Manager to Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1. Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Korean Grand Prix, Race, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Sunday 24 October 2010.

Vijay Mallya with Adrian Sutil

Jan.24 (PVM) Vijay Mallya says his Force India Formula 1 team is not hobby but a serious business and is targeting a podium finish in the inaugural India Grand Prix in October.

The Indian billionaire told BBC about his sporting acquisitions, of which F1 is one, “It is certainly not a hobby. Formula 1 is perhaps the most technically competitive sport in the world. You are no longer fighting for half a second, you are fighting for a hundredth of a second.”

Mallya headed up a consortium that bought the Spyker F1 team for over $110-million and rebranded it Force India with Mallya’s companies, including Kingfisher, being the prominent sponsors.

He knows the challenges that his Silverstone based squad face in the forthcoming season, “It’s become a lot more competitive so it is very difficult to move up the ladder quickly.” But admits, “I’m proud that the Force India F1 team. From the end of 2007, when I bought the team, to today, it has come a long way.”

Mallya is looking for more podium finishes in 2011 and has a particular wish, “I’d love to be on the podium in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.”

Force India has yet to announce their driver line-up for the season ahead, but it is expected that Adrian Sutil will be in the cockpit but uncertainty remains regarding the identity of the second driver which could be either Vitantonio Liuzzi, Paul di Resta or Nico Hulkenberg. An announcement is expected this week.