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Mallya: 'We can be a Force'
Force India owner confident that Belgian GP performance is just the beginning.
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2009 07:28 GMT

Vijay Mallya and Giancarlo Fisichella celebrate their podium finish [GALLO/GETTY]
Force India can be just as quick in Italy next week as they were in taking their first Formula One points and podium in Belgium on Sunday, according to owner Vijay Mallya.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella finished second for Force India from pole position at Spa behind Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who can also expect to go well at the champions' home circuit on September 13.

It was Force India's first points after 30 starts and Fisichella considered himself unlucky not to have won after sticking on Raikkonen's tail all the way to the finish.

Upset possible

Mallya said the team could cause another upset by producing the same kind of speed at Monza.

"Why not? We know that the car is quick - blindingly quick I would say," the alcohol and aviation tycoon said after Spa-Francorchamps produced one of the big shocks of a season that has already seen plenty.

"The sector times show it and I think the Monza track will suit us."

Monza, the fastest circuit on the calendar, favours those teams using the KERS energy recovery system, which harnesses power generated by the brakes and delivers a brief boost at the push of a button.

Ferrari and McLaren were the only teams using the system at Spa but Fernando Alonso's Renault are considering bringing it back for Monza.

The system will be a big help out of the Parabolica turn and after the start/finish line.

Force India have the same Mercedes engines as McLaren, who struggled with their set-up for Spa, but will not have the benefit of KERS that helped Raikkonen power past Fisichella when the safety car came in after the first few laps at Spa.

Game on

Brawn's championship leader, Jenson Button, expected the former tail-enders to shine again and said that while closest rivals Red Bull were likely to start with lighter fuel loads, they were unlikely to be the main challengers at Monza.

"....It's going to be more the McLarens, and the Force Indias because they are good on low downforce," the Briton, who crashed out on Sunday, said.

"Kimi will also be quick, and I don't know who else is going to be in the other Ferrari."

Italian Luca Badoer has occupied the second seat since Brazilian Felipe Massa was injured last month but has been last across the line in both his races and Fisichella could be the man to replace him at Monza.

If that happens then Force India may entrust Fisichella's car to their Italian reserve driver Vitantonio Liuzzi, who previously raced for Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

Fisichella skirted that issue and focused on Force India's prospects instead.

"Our speed on the straight is usually very good. Monza is a very high-speed circuit," he said.

"Obviously we will have a proper package for Monza and it looks very promising. It looks very good.

"I'm not saying that we will repeat a result like today's, which would be fantastic, but obviously getting into the top 10 and scoring points would be another fantastic result."

Source:
Agencies
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