Sahara Force India gets ready for the half-way point of the 2017 Formula One season at Silverstone.
Talking points with the Team Principal
Vijay Mallya: “After a double points finish in Austria, we now head to our local race at Silverstone. The VJM10 is working well and we expect to build on our recent competitive form with another strong showing this weekend. Our performance in Austria showed the strength in depth of our team in all areas. Despite chasing the car balance through practice, we got on top of our issues in time for qualifying – when it mattered. Even when we don’t have the perfect weekend, we can be well inside the top ten picking up important points.
“The British Grand Prix is always a huge weekend for this team. Our factory couldn’t be any closer to the circuit and it’s one of our busiest events of the year. Once again we have created a Force India stage and fan zone in the Woodlands campsite so that our drivers can visit during the weekend and meet the fans. For me, this is a highlight of the week because it’s these dedicated supporters who create such a special atmosphere at Silverstone. It’s important that we involve the fans as much as possible and I’m glad that we can give something back to them again this year.”
Driver’s Eye: Sergio Perez
Sergio: “I’m feeling really upbeat after our strong weekend in Austria. We recovered well from some difficult practice sessions and picked up some important points. I think we can do the same in Silverstone. I love the track and I think the car will perform well there. We have some small updates coming on the aero side and I feel very comfortable in this car. I really can’t wait to experience the high-speed corners at Silverstone with all the downforce we have on these 2017 cars.
“I always say that Silverstone is one of the best tracks of the year. There are great corners and it’s a real pleasure to drive in a Formula One car. The fans also make the British Grand Prix special. We always see a huge crowd – even on Friday – and the atmosphere always feels special. It’s one of those races where the drivers’ parade gives you huge energy when you see the support from the fans.”
Driver’s Eye: Esteban Ocon
Esteban: “I am very excited about racing in my first British Grand Prix. Silverstone has a special atmosphere: there is always a big crowd, everyone is coming here to show their support and enjoy one of the best races of the season and it’s really exciting.
“I can’t wait for the race. The track is great: I like the combination of fast corners, especially Maggots and Becketts. Those corners are awesome. In this year’s cars they’re going to be especially crazy. I have some very good memories from racing Formula 3 in Silverstone. I was on pole, got three podiums and won a race: it was the first event of the season and the results gave me so much confidence for the rest of the championship.
“Our team headquarters are just across the road, so the race feels extra special for us. It’s a home race and the chance to see everyone who works at the factory all year. It’s also where we have our Fan Zone at the Woodlands Campsite. I am looking forward to going there on Saturday night and meeting everyone who has come to support us.”
Our home Grand Prix in Silverstone is one of the toughest tests for a Formula One car. The current layout is a mix of low, medium and very high speed corners, meaning you have to find the ideal compromise when it comes to set up. We expect the current generation of cars to be very impressive in the high-speed sections, a challenge the drivers will love: this means, however, that we need to produce a car that gives them the confidence required to attack those corners. The high tyre degradation will open up the strategic options, and the weather is always unpredictable – even when dry, the high winds on this exposed track mean conditions can change between a lap and the other, which is an added challenge. At 5.89km, this is one of the longest circuits of the year – we only have 52 laps, quite the opposite from Austria.