Force India team principal Vijay Mallya, looks ahead to the start of the 2014 season with anticipation ahead of the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne.
It’s been a very busy winter – how have things gone for Sahara Force India?
Mallya: It’s been a massive challenge, especially for a smaller team like ours. That was why we put so many plans in place early last year to be ready for what has become a very different Formula One. All the hard work has paid off, but it has been a very steep learning curve and a huge undertaking to get where we are today.
As you say it’s a different Formula One. A new direction for the sport…
It’s the first time for many years that Formula One has been properly aligned with the automotive industry. The prospect of Formula One driving forward technical advances for road cars is a very exciting one.
You attended the final test in Bahrain. Were you encouraged by what you saw?
It was certainly a good week in terms of mileage because we completed the second highest number of laps of all the teams. So we can be satisfied with the amount and quality of the work we were able to carry out. We’ve learned a lot of things – by no means everything – and I think we can feel quietly confident.
What can we expect in Melbourne?
It’s never easy to make predictions and this year there are so many more unknowns than usual. I think we can arrive in Melbourne feeling happy about the work we’ve done over the winter. How that will translate to a race weekend is hard to say, but I think it’s important that an element of unpredictability has returned. There is plenty of interest around Formula One at the moment and that’s a good thing.