Mallya: Sochi podium will boost Force India

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Force India owner Vijay Mallya believes that the team will arrive in Austin, Texas for next weekend’s United States Grand Prix with a spring in its step after scoring a breakthrough podium finish last weekend in Russia.

An aggressive strategy allowed Sergio Perez (pictured) to move into contention for a third-place finish in the closing stages of the race in Sochi, and although he dropped to fifth on the penultimate lap, a clash between Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas allowed the Mexican to reclaim P3 by the end.

The result marked just the third podium finish in Force India’s history, and Mallya was delighted that Force India had managed to meet his ambitious pre-season target of a top-three finish.

“We travel to Austin full of energy and optimism following Checo’s fantastic podium in Sochi,” Mallya said. “The car was strong, our strategy was good, and Checo didn’t put a wheel wrong.

“You could see from our post-race celebrations just how much the result meant to everyone in the team and it’s a welcome reward for everybody’s hard work this year. It’s very satisfying to get some more silverware for our trophy cabinet at Silverstone.

“Over the winter I said that the target was to achieve podiums in 2015. That may have seemed like an over-optimistic objective, but ever since the introduction of the B-spec car I knew that we had the potential to do something special.

“We may have had a little good fortune in Sochi, but I believe you make your own luck and we worked hard to seize the opportunity and bring the result home.”

Mallya believes that there is a great deal of positivity around the Force India team at the moment, and hopes that this can carry through to next weekend’s race at the Circuit of The Americas.

“There is a lot of positive energy in the team at the moment,” Mallya said. “We’ve confirmed both Nico and Sergio for next year and that continuity is important for us.

“They are very closely matched and they push each other hard. I believe that having healthy competition within the team is a good thing and will help drive the team even further forward.

“The next race in Austin is one of my favorites. They always put on a great event and the fans show lots of enthusiasm for our sport. Luck wasn’t on our side there last year, but there is every reason to believe we can be competitive this year and build on the momentum from Sochi.”