Force India: 2008 Monaco GP preview 

Written by David on May 20th, 2008 at 12:13 pmLast Update: May 20th, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Force IndiaMike Gascoyne, Chief Technical Officer: “Monaco is a very unique track due to its nature and it was actually one of the tracks that we were closest to getting into Q2 last year. Both our drivers love the circuit and have some good experience – Adrian was an F3 lap record holder round there and went quickest in one of the practices last year, plus Giancarlo has been very quick there in the past. I believe there will be some races where we will spring surprises and I think Monaco will be one of them. We just have to concentrate on doing our job and get two cars to the finish. As most of the teams will be doing, we have a new aero package that is designed specifically for this race. In Monaco, which has no real high speed parts on the track, you tend to run items that produce high levels of drag that you wouldn’t run on other tracks, simply because they are inefficient on long straights. That’s not the case in Monaco however, where you need as much grip as possible to get round the tight hairpins and corners. The new package includes updates to the wings, additional winglets and further modifications that will give more downforce. It has been tested in Paul Ricard last week, and gave some good results. For Giancarlo, it’s his 200th race and, at a circuit he very much likes, I am sure he will want to put in a good performance.¬† Similarly that should be a spur to Adrian as now he is growing in confidence and needs to start showing that in terms of results. It was very important for him to get that race finish in Turkey: he has been gaining in confidence throughout the last events, understanding the tyres a bit more and getting more pace out of the car to match Giancarlo.”

Dr. Vijay Mallya: “We intend to put on a good show in Monaco, both from a sporting and commercial aspect. Monaco is a race that is so famous world-wide that almost everybody knows it and wants to come to it, so it is not only important from a team point of view, but from a sponsors’ point of view as well. I think glamour and sport go together and I think the glamour and the entertainment that we have emphasised since we have been in F1 is much appreciated. If we have, in turn, contributed in any way to the glamorous aspect of F1, then I think we’ve done a good job. It promotes the team, it promotes the sponsors of the team, I think it promotes F1 in general. We intend to persist! As important as the glamour and panache is in Monaco, the greatest show there is is the race and we are on stage and have to perform. This track should suit us better than Istanbul, but having acknowledged that, the objective of the team is to get up to a level where we can race competitively on any circuit. Turkey might have seemed disappointing from the outside, but I did not leave the track feeling down at heart. We were certainly no further back from the opposition than we have been in previous races and, in fact compared to the fastest time of the weekend, we were the closest we have been all year. Our position is now just a measure of how competitive F1 is this year. There are no inefficient teams: you just have 10 professional teams, and we are undoubtedly the smallest, newest kid on the block. I am sure however that Monaco will be a different story. It’s a real driver’s track and I have every confidence in both my drivers here – just look at their track records. Giancarlo – who reaches a great career milestone this weekend – has achieved some fantastic results here against expectations, while Adrian posted the fastest time in practice on Saturday morning last year. That tells a story of its own.”

Giancarlo Fisichella: “Monaco will be my 200th race start, and it feels a long way away from my debut that’s for sure, but I still feel as good and as confident as I did back then. Rubens’ record of 257 starts will be hard to beat, but there is definitely a feeling of satisfaction to reach this milestone that only a handful of other drivers have got to. Even more satisfying is to know that I have a lot more to give and am still motivated to do well. To celebrate this at Monaco is fantastic as it’s the best track in the world, one of my favourites, as the twisty track itself is phenomenal, the fans are so close to the cars so you get a real atmosphere, and the surroundings are so beautiful. It’s certainly the best place for a celebration – I have to hope that we can celebrate a good result on Sunday too! Monaco has given me some good results, but last year was particularly good as I came home 4th when no one was expecting it. It was a result the team desperately needed too. Realistically this year we can’t hope for 4th, but one point is my target – everything else that comes on top of that is a bonus. We have a new aero package that will for sure help us, but the whole race is a lottery so you’ve got to be lucky too.”

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “After a disappointing Turkish Grand Prix we should be in a position to be more competitive in Monaco and have both cars reaching the finish line. For Adrian and Giancarlo it’s one of their favourite circuits and I am expecting a good result.”

Adrian Sutil: “Monaco is one of my favourite tracks as it’s the first real street circuit we go to this year. It’s such a special place, with a unique atmosphere, there’s a lot going on and the track is just fantastic. I’m really looking forward to it as, even though we didn’t finish last year, it was actually one of my best weekends. It was such a great feeling when I saw my name in P1 on Saturday – no one expected it! For me it was important as that stage in the season as it gave me a lot of good feedback and made people realise we are serious about what we do. We have a better car this year and I hope we can do well. It can be tricky if it rains, but I don’t mind as we saw last year! It was important for me to finish in Turkey as we could get a lot more mileage and also for my confidence to finish a race. Now I think we need to stay concentrated and get more finishes, do a good job and get a good result.”

source: Force India 

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