Sahara Force India F1 team eyes 5th place in 2012 Constructors’ Championship

Vijay Mallya, Sahara Force India F1 team boss has made it clear that he’s aiming for 5th in the 2012 constructors’ championship. Having ended 2011 in 6th place with 69 points on final count, a mere 4 points less than Lotus Renault GP, the target doesn’t seem unattainable. This Friday, the Silverstone based Formula one team unveiled the VJM05, Sahara Force India’s 2012 F1 challenger.

Mallya had this to say. “We have set our sights on challenging for fifth place. To do so we will need to begin the new campaign by delivering the kind of form we showed in the second half of 2011. I believe this is a realistic goal and that we have the talent and determination to realise these ambitions.”

Force India’s chief operating officer, Otmar Szafnauer had this to say. “The car has come together nicely over the winter,” he continued. “It’s all about how much we have developed under the new regulations versus what the others have done, which will be difficult to judge until the first race. But from our perspective we’ve made some gains over the winter and believe we’re in reasonable shape. Our objective is to start our season strongly, and continue our development.”

He added, “I think it’s going to be very difficult. But nevertheless, our aim is fifth place.” “I think Sauber started last season very competitively and towards the end they didn’t develop their blown diffuser, which hurt them. However it will help them for this year, because the developments that they were uncovering still apply. They have two fast drivers, a good powertrain, they are a team with a lot of experience, and they have a good infrastructure, so they are not going to be easy to beat.” “Lotus were a bit constrained with the blown floor concept they had, and this year they won’t have that, so they are going to be competitive. Williams have a new engine in Renault, they’ve got a new technical team, and they’ve got a lot of experience. Toro Rosso made some huge strides last year. They’ve got some new drivers, and while that is perhaps still an unknown, you usually make changes with the intention of improving! So it will be very competitive in the realm of the midfield that we are competing in.”

“However we have continuity in our senior employees and management, we have continuity in our powertrain – Mercedes do a great job on the engine and KERS. We’ve got two good drivers again [in Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg]. We’re starting to understand the tyres a bit more. All things considered, it will be tough, but I think we will be competitive.” “Where will we finish? It’s difficult to predict. But our goal is fifth, and I think we will be competing for that.”