Buoyed after a brilliant start to their 2010 championship campaign, Force India heads to Australia with its German driver Adrian Sutil eyeing a top five finish and his Italian teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi seeking an encore of his Bahrain show.
The Vijay Mallya-owned outfit goes into the second round of the FIA Formula One World Championship with two points in kitty, courtesy Liuzzi’s ninth-place finish in the Bahrain Grand Prix, and taking heart from the fact that Sutil’s was the second quickest lap of the race.
Looking ahead, Sutil believes a top five finish in Melbourne’s Albert Park was in the realm of possibility.
“I think it was a very good start to the season. We were very competitive in free practice and then again in qualifying where both Tonio and myself were in the top 12,” Sutil said.
“Everything went well until the start of the race for me but from the team perspective, at least one car got into the points. But now we want to go even higher in Australia. I think there is still potential to improve everything and get close to the top five or six,” said the lanky German.
Sutil was particularly excited about the prospect of displaying his aggressive brand of racecraft in Melbourne.
“I think every driver was a bit cautious (in Bahrain) as it was the first race and we had to go a long distance on the soft tyre and nobody really knew the best way to call it. Now we will go to Australia and tweak it a bit more to the limit and start to be a more aggressive. I think there will be some more overtaking,” he said.
Liuzzi, meanwhile, is keyed-up after scoring his first points for the Silverstone-based outfit and is seeking a repeat show in Melbourne.
“The Bahrain race was encouraging and was a great result for the team and myself. The team has worked so hard over the winter to find improvements and never gave up pushing so to get two points in the first race is fantastic,” said the Italian driver.
Liuzzi had high hopes from the updates that would be introduced before the Australian Grand Prix and said his immediate target was to gatecrash into Q3 on Saturday and be among the points the next day.
“We have some new developments on the front and rear wing.
I’m pretty hopeful it will be a step forward as every upgrade we made last year was positive.
“Of course you never know what the others are bringing but I would hope this would move us a little closer to the teams in front. My target would be to get into Q3 this time out and then, of course, get into the points again,” Liuzzi explained.