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Mallya warns Force India must improve

23 Mar 2015

Force India must not get carried away with their double-points score in Australia and need to focus their efforts on improving the outright performance of the VJM08, team boss Vijay Mallya has warned ahead of this weekend's 2015 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix.

After a troubled pre-season, Force India's 2015 car has proved reliable from the outset, with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez finishing seventh and tenth respectively at Albert Park. But despite that positive opening, Mallya says work needs to be done to make points finishes a regular prospect.

"Despite scoring well in Melbourne, we know the VJM08 is only just beginning its development journey and that we need to add performance if we want to finish consistently in the points," he insisted. 

"There will be some small tweaks this weekend before bigger steps can be made during the European season. Malaysia is an interesting track for us. We had a good race there last year with Nico and it's a track that generates good racing. The hot weather usually plays to our strengths and the risk of rain can add another dimension to the strategy. Hopefully we can capitalise on these elements to be competitive and come away with another strong result."

Hulkenberg cautioned that consistency rather than overall performance had underpinned the team's success in the 2015 season-opener, adding: "We knew the VJM08's reliability was one of our strong points and we were able to play that card well - we didn't make any mistakes and we had a good strategy, and that helped us capitalise on a day when others ran into trouble. 

"We need to keep our feet on the ground, however, because we know the circumstances in which we got this result and we know the next races will be tough."

Perez echoed his team mate's sentiment, saying that both drivers need to be patient while the team brings developments on stream.

"We are still learning a lot about the full potential of the VJM08 and every time we hit the track we are going to find some improvements," he explained. "We are aware of the work needed to make our car more competitive, but we also know it is going to take time. The car feels really promising but it needs development and I look forward to getting some upgrades soon."