• Force India

We should be at the front - Mallya

Chris Medland December 14, 2013 « 2014 regulations 'perfect' for Vettel - Webber | Alonso begins 2014 simulator work »

Vijay Mallya says Force India should be competing at the front of the grid in 2014 after confirming the team's driver line-up.

Sergio Perez was chosen to partner the returning Nico Hulkenberg next season as Force India opted for a completely new driver line-up. Speaking exclusively to ESPN after the Perez announcement, Mallya said the way the team has focused on next year will give it a good opportunity to move up the grid.

Asked if he felt the team could be realistically fighting at the front, Mallya relpied: "Yes, we should be.

"We signed up the Mercedes package way in advance, we started designing the 2014 car early, we dedicated the wind tunnel to the development of the 2014 car back in May. [That was] a lot earlier than we would normally have done and that's probably one of the reasons why we fell off in 2013 after the tyre change; because we didn't have the wind tunnel and other resources to try and fix that problem.

"Nevertheless, now with an optimistic design team, a hungry driver line-up, there's no reason why we should not be fighting with the big boys."

Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1 Chris Medland, who in his youth even found the Pacific GPs entertaining, talked his way in to work at the British Grand Prix and was somehow retained for three years. He also worked on the BBC's F1 output prior to becoming assistant editor ahead of the 2011 season