Mallya: 'Proof we can compete with the big boys'

Monday 07th April 2014, 23:34 by TF1T Staff 

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Force India are currently treading on new ground having never sat higher than fourth in the constructors' championship, but after their first podium in five years, that's where they find themselves.

Team principal and co-owner Vijay Mallya was ecstatic to see the team take their second podium finish and he believes they've been building up to it since the first race in Australia.

"It is a very special moment," he told the official F1 website. "My job was always to make this team climb up the ladder, steadily. I always believed that 2014 - with all the new regulations - gave us a new opportunity. And so far what a good season it has been! We finished sixth in Australia, we improved to fifth in Malaysia, and I think I hinted in Malaysia that I hoped that we could improve further, and there you have it: the podium in Bahrain."

The businessman reckons an ever better result was on the cards had it not been for a safety car period thanks to Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez coming together.

However he's happy to see the team walk away from the race with 25 points on merit, beating out some of the sports most highly regarded outfits.

"You still have the great Ferraris, the great Red Bulls, and the great McLarens of this world - but in the end it is the result that counts," he said.

"It was a fair race, a tough race and the safety car compromised us as we should have finished three and four - because of the safety car we lost the gap - but we still raced and we won third and fifth places on merit and not because of somebody else’s misfortune or somebody else's hard luck story.

"That shows that we are competitive and capable of challenging all the big teams. Of course the Mercedes are very, very strong so I am not so sure if we could catch them - but we will try," he said with a smile.

"Compared to everybody else we are on a limited budget, and I am very glad that we are proving that on limited resources we are still able to be competitive."

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