Note: This interview was conducted mid-way through pre-season testing.
Overall testing has progressed very smoothly this year. We’ve put a lot of miles on the car, run through all the 2013 tyre compounds and found some useful directions with the car. The drivers are both up to speed and Adrian’s return to the team has been seamless.
2. India now has staged two GP's. How impressed are you with facilities and the track? What do you think, can India sustain the GP beyond the stipulated contract?
I think the whole of Formula One was impressed with the Buddh International Circuit. The track is one of the best in the world and you only have to look at the positive comments from the drivers during the last two years. They enjoy the layout and there is a nice mix of challenging corners. There was great interest for the inaugural race, but as the popularity of Formula One grows in India, I’m confident that the race can establish its position as one of the highlights on the calendar. Equally, with the importance of India as an emerging market, it’s vital for Formula One to have a strong presence there.
3. Motorsport is growing in India, there are many youngsters wanting to get a job with a team or circuit. What would you advice them considering the lack of opportunities in India?
I think the main advice is not to give up. If you’re determined to work in Formula One, you need to make sure you’ve got the right qualifications and work experience, and then make sure we know who you are. If we can see your enthusiasm and determination to contribute to our success, we are more likely to consider you for a position with the team.
4. It's been more than one year since the One From A Billion campaign begun and we have seen how the three young talents did in the UK. What's next for them?
The next stage will be the formation of an Academy where the graduates from the One From A Billion programme can continue their development. The Academy will take our young racers a step closer to Formula One and support their progress through the junior ranks. We will announce our plans in the next months or so.
5. We read about the investments into the team and financially the future looks secured. Can podium finishes be a real target from the start itself?
In my mind that’s got to be the target for Sahara Force India this year. We came so close on several occasions last year and let’s not forget that we led 30 laps during the last race in Brazil. We want to continue where we left on in 2012 and that means qualifying in the top ten and racing for points every weekend.
6. How about further into the future, say 5-10 years - what's the ultimate aim? Consistent midfielders on a budget (like Sauber) or developing to win races & titles (like Red Bull)?
I think that like any team we are in Formula One looking for success, and that means podiums and race wins. It’s not something that happens overnight, but we’ve made great progress during the last five years and we want to continue our progress up the grid.