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Mallya hails Force India's best start to a season

02 Apr 2014

Force India team principal Dr Vijay Mallya has hailed his squad’s best start to a Formula One season, and says plans are in place to lift the team even higher.

After the opening two races of 2014, Force India sit fifth in the constructors’ championship with 19 points, just one behind Williams. The Silverstone-based squad took a double points finish in Australia, and then claimed fifth through Nico Hulkenberg - who also led briefly - in Malaysia.

The results represent the team’s best start to a season since 2001 when, in Jordan guise, Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished fifth in Australia and fourth in Malaysia, lifting the squad to third in the constructors’ standings.

“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,” Mallya said.

"It's always nice to see a Sahara Force India in front! 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. We've got our plans for that. Let's hope we put on a strong show going forward."

Mallya praised Hulkenberg, and said things could be looking even better for his outfit had Sergio Perez not suffered technical issues which prevented him from starting in Malaysia.

"We always knew that we could be competitive and were capable of fighting with the traditional frontrunners, as Nico demonstrated once again,” he added.

“He's got that huge competitive spirit in him and he's obviously hugely talented. In the wet, in the dry, whatever the tyre compound, he's there.

“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."