Conducted and provided by Force India's press office.
Q. Throughout the last three races, Force India has sustained a programme of development. Could you sum up the progress made so far and what you have coming for Monaco?
Vijay Mallya: I would say that, for a small team, our rate of development so far has been remarkable. We introduced the new floor and shadow diffuser in Bahrain, plus some major upgrades to the front wing, a further step in Spain and now in Monaco we will have some further changes to the aero package.
As Monaco is such a high downforce circuit we'll run a modified front and rear wing, although how much we can introduce is obviously limited by the regulations. I have been very pleased we have been able to get so many major upgrades through so early in the season; that is just one advantage to being a smaller team - we can be more dynamic and adapt to regulations more quickly.
Q. The new parts certainly made the team closer to the field, but didn't necessarily give an improvement in results. What are your thoughts on this?
VM: Clearly we have some work to do in qualifying, but I would beg to differ about the lack of improvement in the race. Giancarlo set the 8th quickest time during the race in Spain, and was competitively racing with BMW, Renault and Williams. We might not yet be in a points' scoring position but I am happy with the rate of progress we are making.
We've always said top ten for the first part of the year and then points if and when possible. This race I think, with the improvements we have and the confidence of our drivers around this circuit, we could very well get into Q2 - that should be the aim for now.
Q. What does Monaco mean for you as a team owner?
VM: I think glamour and sport go hand in hand and it's no more obvious than in Monaco. We still intend to put on a good show in Monaco, both from a sporting and commercial aspect. Monaco is a race that is so famous world-wide that almost everybody knows it and wants to come to it, so it is not only important from a team point of view, but from a sponsors' point of view as well.
We will be hosting two parties again, as brand awareness is even more important in these days of economic downturn. The days of unlimited budgets are of course gone, and clearly one has to watch that the end justifies the means, but we still believe that these events give 'bang for buck' and are an integral part of why we are involved in F1 as a project.
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