sport

Mallya in optimistic mood

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya sees no reason why his team cannot pursue the best season in their history this year.

Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix only yielded three points, Force India's smallest return from the five races to date, with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg ninth and 10th respectively.

Yet the Silverstone-based marque have so far made their strongest start to a campaign, and are currently fourth in the constructors' championship, just nine points behind Ferrari.

Perez was notably third in Bahrain, the first time a Force India driver had claimed a podium position since 2009, and wth 57 points to their name, the team are already over halfway to their biggest points haul of 109 in 2012.

Whether Force India have the resources to continue such performances remains to be seen, but for now Mallya is resoundingly satisfied.

"It's the best start we've ever had," said Mallya, speaking to Press Association Sport.

"Our guys are equally passionate, competent and with resources that are clearly less than other teams. We're putting on a good show.

"Normally people describe it as 'punching about your weight'. Call it what you may, we are delivering great value to ourselves and showing we are competitive.

"We got both cars in the top 10 on Sunday, ahead of the McLarens. What more can you ask for?

"Overall, we're currently fourth and I think we should continue to target that. There is every possibility we can pursue that.

"If we make it to the end of the season and claim that then I'll be delighted."

While attending his fourth grand prix this season, Mallya remains struck by the reduction in noise of the current Formula One cars.

That follows the introduction this year of the 1.6-litre V6 turbo-charged power units which are significantly quieter than the old V8s.

"I'm still trying to reconcile myself with the lack of noise. It is amazing," added Mallya.

"To stand on the pit wall and have a conversation with somebody without ear protection, I'm still getting used to it.

"There are measures being taken, the FIA has commissioned a report, so hopefully something will happen."

Mercedes trialled on Wednesday a 'megaphone' device attached to the exhaust of their car, but it is understood to have been unsuccessful.