F1 News: Q&A with Dr Vijay Mallya Team Principal and Managing Director

Sahara LogoQ&A with Dr Vijay Mallya
Team Principal and Managing Director

Vijay, the team enjoyed its most successful season ever last year. How do you follow that in 2015?
It’s a nice problem to have. 2014 was a fantastic season for everyone in the team. We were competitive from the off and took the fight to the biggest teams in the sport. I still remember sitting down after the race in Bahrain to savour the moment: we had finished third and fifth and were sitting second in the championship after three races. I think that made people sit up and take notice: it showed what we are capable of achieving and where our ambitions lie for the future. The challenge facing us in 2015 is to build on our competitiveness and strengthen the team in certain areas.

You’ve retained two extremely talented drivers in Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Perez. That’s surely a major strength going into 2015…
It’s always advantageous to have consistency in any area of the team, especially with drivers, and I’m very happy to have Nico and Checo with us in 2015. On balance they are very well matched and pushed each other hard last year. Sometimes it was Nico who had the edge and at other times it was Checo. Having that competitive spirit in the team can only be a good thing and I believe it helps drive the team forward. We know that they are both extremely quick; they’re proper racers and they always give their all behind the wheel.

Once again, the VJM08 has a dynamic new livery this season. What was the thinking behind that?
It’s another evolution of the contemporary look we introduced last year which reflects the growth of the team and the global brands with which we are working. I love the addition of silver, which makes the car appear more sleek and aggressive. The livery looks stunning and I’m sure it’s something that will appeal to the fans as well. Our traditional team colours remain integrated in the livery, but we’ve given it a very modern twist.

The team is beginning its eighth season under your guardianship. Are the key ingredients in place to build on the team’s competitiveness?
We’ve come a long way in those eight years and the goal is to keep progressing. We were on the podium last year, which was an important boost, but actually I think we deserved more than that. So the target is to achieve more podiums in 2015 and we’ve taken some decisions recently to ensure we remain competitive. For example, moving all our wind tunnel work to the Toyota facility in Cologne gives us access to a tunnel that is a match for any team on the grid. Of course, there will be some transition time as we adapt and get up-to-speed, but I’m confident it’s a decision that will stand us in good stead for the future.

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