Force India unsure of Spa repeat

Vijay Mallya, the Force India team owner, said: 'It's going to be tough to replicate the kind of form we showed in Spa last year.'

Force India return to the scene of their most successful race in Formula One this weekend with little hope of repeating last year's Belgian Grand Prix heroics. The team took their first Formula One pole position at Spa-Francorchamps last August through Giancarlo Fisichella, the Italian driver, who then went to score the team's first points in the world championship as he finished second behind Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari in the race.

Fisichella is now a Ferrari test driver while Force India are sixth overall in the championship with Adrian Sutil, the German driver, and Vitantonio Liuzzi, the Italian racer, scoring regular points throughout the campaign, but remaining a long way from battling for a podium finish. Vijay Mallya, the Force India team owner, said: "It's going to be tough to replicate the kind of form we showed in Spa last year."

"Everybody's improved, the competition is fierce and also very even in the midfield - the gaps between teams is so small now." Force India should still be competitive in Belgium, with the Mercedes-powered team bringing a new rear wing package in addition to the "F-duct" which should give them a speed advantage on the long Spa straights. "Additionally we will be using the new blown floor on both cars on Friday," said Mallya.

"We tried it in Hungary, and we hope to actually race it in Spa if the information we gather shows as much of an improvement as it did there." Sutil said he was looking forward to a strong performance in Sunday's race. "I'm pretty confident that we've got a car that will still suit the track very well," he said. * Reuters

EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS