Belgian GP preview: Sahara Force India

They’re all at it! Now Sahara Team Principal, Dr Vijay Mallya, looks forward to a strong second half of the season.

VJM: “The summer break has given us a chance to regroup following a challenging race in Budapest. The whole team has worked extremely hard to repair the cars and solve the problems that we encountered in Hungary, and we’re ready to bounce back this weekend in Spa.

“Although the Hungarian Grand Prix was disappointing, I prefer to focus on the positives, especially the strong pace we showed in the first half of the race. We saw that the VJM08 is capable of running comfortably inside the top ten, which gives us confidence for the second half of the season. There remains an upbeat feeling in the team and I think we can look forward to some competitive races to come.

“Returning to Spa is always special because it’s one of those tracks that truly captures the imagination. The drivers love to race here and it’s a favourite with the fans too. We expect to be in good shape this weekend and we will be aiming for Q3 on Saturday and good points on Sunday.”

Nico Hülkenberg feels refreshed and ready to race this weekend in Belgium: “The summer break was very relaxing for me. My schedule has been extra busy this year so it was nice to stay at home for a few weeks and just switch off and relax. Even though it’s only been a month since the last race, you miss being in the car and the buzz of racing, so I’m definitely ready to begin the second half of the season.

“Spa is a favourite for all the drivers. When I think of driving there it just makes me smile because it’s got so many special high-speed corners – the corners you want to experience in a Formula One car. You’ve also got the history of the place and the unpredictable weather which often helps spice up the racing.

“We go there hoping to bounce back from a tough race in Hungary. The improvements we’ve made to the car will really help us in Spa, especially through the high-speed corners. The engine also plays a big part around the lap. We are competitive and I am confident we can start the second part of the season strongly.”

Sergio Perez: “The break was a good opportunity to recharge my batteries and spend some time at home with my family. The calendar is pretty busy and we don’t often get the chance to have some time for ourselves. However, I am really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel and doing what I really love.

“Spa is an amazing track and I enjoy racing there. The first sector and the run through Eau Rouge feel very special in a Formula One car and it’s definitely a highlight of the year. The track can also produce really good racing because there are a few corners where you have a good chance to overtake.

“I think the characteristics of the track and its emphasis on power and top speed should suit our car. You also have to expect wet weather at some point during the weekend so it could be quite unpredictable. We have shown some good pace in the last few races and we should be in a position to get a good result.”

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