With two of Formula One’s stronger young talents in Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg now set to drive his cars, Force India team principal Vijay Mallya can’t help but feel optimistic about an ascendancy for the Silverstone-based squad next year.
To get Perez and Hulkenberg, Mallya had to let go of both of his 2013 drivers, Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil (who has since landed at Sauber). But in an interview on F1’s official website, he explains that with the new technical regulations coming into play next year, it was fitting to have new pilots.
“I could have retained either one of our existing drivers, but at the end of the day we’ve had long relationships with both, including Adrian Sutil who had a one-year break but came back to us,” Mallya said.
“I consulted my other team members and they all said that we’ve got a new car and a new set of regulations, so let’s get a new set of drivers who have got fire in their bellies and are really hungry. Sergio and Nico fit that bill.”
Motivation won’t be lacking from any side at Force India in 2014.
For Perez, he’ll be keen on showing that he’s still capable of performing well in F1 after an up-and-down single season with McLaren. For Hulkenberg, he’ll look to continue proving why he deserves more than his mid-field status after a strong year for Sauber.
Then there’s the team, which was on line for a Top-5 showing in the constructors’ championship this year but suffered from Pirelli’s mid-season tire change and were forced to hold off Sauber for sixth in the end.
As Mallya indicates, everybody’s got some business to take care of.
“There’s a huge amount of passion and a lot of talent in Silverstone, but more importantly there is a commitment and a hunger to succeed,” he said. “I think the fact that we’ve signed two of the finest young drivers in Formula One is a reflection of our own attitude.
“All the designers, engineers and everyone else at Force India feels the same way as our drivers: We are hungry, we’re out to prove a point.”