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Italian GP: Preview - Force India

NEWS STORY
06/09/2011

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Chairman and Team Principal: "Looking back on the last three races I am very pleased with the performances we have shown. Three strong points finishes on the trot have earned us 20 points and taken us a step closer to sixth place in the constructors' championship. It's a clear sign that we are delivering as a team on all levels and our season is now gathering some real momentum.

I particularly enjoyed the last race in Spa where the racing was excellent. I felt Adrian's seventh place was a fair reflection of our pace and a good recovery after our difficult qualifying session. At the same time we were fortunate because both cars picked up quite a lot of damage during the first corner and were lucky to finish.

The target now is to get both drivers in the points and I'm hopeful Monza will give us a chance to do that. The VJM04 worked well at Spa and the drivers were happy with the balance in low downforce trim. That's a good sign for Monza where we take another step down on the downforce levels.

Italy in September is a wonderful place to visit and is a great venue for a motor racing. There is a great tradition at Monza which, along with the passionate tifosi, helps make this one of the most enjoyable races of the season."

Adrian, what do you think of Monza?
Adrian Sutil: "I enjoy it and I have good some memories there. It's where I had my best result two years ago when I qualified on the front row and finished fourth. It's a classic circuit, one of the old tracks, and you feel the history when you arrive there. And the Italian fans always give Monza a great atmosphere."

The team has been fast there in the past - do you expect that again?
AS: "I think our car is more consistent on all tracks rather than just being strong on the quick circuits. Also, because everyone is now using DRS and KERS, the advantage of our straight-line speed is not so significant. It's still a fast car, but we were seventh in Hungary on a high downforce circuit and got the same result in Spa on a low downforce circuit. So it's a very consistent car now and I expect a good race at Monza."

There will be two race DRS zones - what do you think of that?
AS: "This is very good for the racing because Monza has always been a track where it is difficult to overtake. Two zones gives us a chance to see lots of action this year.

Paul, is it true you've never raced at Monza?
Paul Di Resta: Yeah, in all my years of racing it's just one of those tracks where I've never raced. In fact, free practice last year was my first experience of the track.

What did you think of the place?
PdR: I loved the track. It's so fast but you also need to be aggressive and use the kerbs to get the lap time. And because it's so low downforce, you have to adapt and drive in a different way. You need to be very precise on the brakes too, because it's easy to lock a wheel and if you miss your braking by just a metre it can cost you a lot.

You have family in Italy - does that make it a special race for you?
PdR: You obviously treat every race with the same importance, but some races definitely feel a bit more special if you have an emotional connection. That's the case with Italy because I've got family living there and some Italian blood in me!

What are your expectations for the VJM04 at Monza?
PdR: I'm fairly optimistic that Monza will suit us. In the past we were very strong there, but we have a different philosophy now and the car has worked well on all circuits. It's going to be another close midfield fight but I believe we can come away with some points.

All F1 teams have to make special preparations for Monza to deal with the high-speed nature of the Italian track, and that means preparing a bespoke low downforce aero package. Circuit Engineering Director, Dominic Harlow, explains how Force India prepares for the fastest race of the season.

Dominic, how different is the aerodynamic package for Monza?
Dominic Harlow: "Monza always requires a new rear wing. You run about 80 - 85% of your maximum downforce and there's a similar reduction of drag to about 75% of our total. The efficiency of the car goes up a little bit at those levels. Coupled with that, this is the first time that we've gone there with DRS."

When did you do the wind tunnel work for Monza, given the summer shutdown must have affected your schedules?
DH: "It was at the end of June and beginning of July that we started to look at it. We test mostly at the higher downforce levels and probably spent a week or so just on Monza. The parts would have been released about eight weeks ago. Had we not had the shutdown, we would have turned that around a bit faster."

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