Getting the consistent race pace is a challenge before Sahara Force India at Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the team has said.

Force India picked one point from season—opening Melbourne Grand Prix with Paul di Resta finishing 10, but Nico Hulkenberg had to retire in the very first lap after being hit from behind.

“It’s difficult to judge much from the first race, but we have learned a lot from Melbourne and we will try and improve our race pace consistency this weekend in Malaysia,” Team Principal Vijay Mallya said.

Mallya also spoke about the tough mid—field competition.

“What is clear is that all the teams around us are very closely matched in terms of absolute pace, and even the smallest mistake in qualifying or the race can cost you several positions. It will be very competitive in the midfield, just as we predicted during the pre—season.”

Paul Di Resta said a top—10 finish is in his mind after a good start at the Australian Grand Prix.

“That will certainly be the aim. We struggled for consistent race pace in Melbourne and it will be interesting to see if we can improve on that this weekend on a circuit with very different characteristics,” Resta said.

The Scot said the Malaysian Grand Prix is one of the most physically demanding races of the season.

“It’s up there alongside Singapore as one of the toughest races of the year, simply because of the heat and humidity.

While you are driving, it’s not too bad because you get some air flow through the car, but you really feel the heat when you’re sitting in the car in the garage with the heat soak from the engine and the tyres. That’s when you’re most uncomfortable in the cockpit,” he said

Hulkenberg is determined to put the disappointment of Melbourne behind him and bounce back this weekend in Sepang.

“I’m glad that we have back—to—back races because I just want to get back in the car. Seeing how the race developed it was frustrating not to be out there fighting for points, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m now fully focussed on Malaysia because there’s no point thinking about what might have been,” he said.

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