Saddest day of my Motor Sports career: Mallya

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{image-vijay mallya_26052008.jpg www.oneindia.com}Monaco, May 26: A dejected Force India owner Vijay Mallya described his team's finish here at Monaco Grand Prix as the saddest moment of his motor sports career but did not shy away to shower accolades on team driver Adrian Sutil for his spirited performance.

''It was the saddest moment of my Motor Sports career. To achieve a top 5 position in Formula One and that too in Monaco was a dream that ended just seven minutes and less than five laps from the chequered flag with Kimi Raikonnen's Ferrari running into the rear of Sutil's car,'' Mallya said. Earlier yeterday, Sutil showed great control in the changeable wet-dry conditions and was running fourth and with just seven minutes to go, Sutil looked certain to pocket four championship points when Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen rammed into the back of the VJM01 car he was driving which put an end to what could have been a dream finish for the Force India driver.

Praising Sutil, Mallya said the German driver exhibited exemplary car control in wet and slippery conditions to prove conclusively to the world that he is an exceptionally talented driver.

''Adrian Sutil drove a brilliant race, exhibited superlative car control in wet and slippery conditions and proved conclusively to the World that he is an exceptionally talented driver.

''All members of the Force India Formula One team came together and executed a brilliant race strategy and car set up. We have demonstrated that we are a much improved and competitive team now and we certainly had an opportunity to score championship points today,'' he added.

Giancarlo Fisichella, who started his 200th Grand Prix here yesterday, also kept clear of the melee of crashes, traffic and safety car periods in front, but had to retire on lap 36 due to problems in his gearbox throughout the race.

''Giancarlo Fisichella has been troubled with gearbox problems all this weekend and lost two gears during the race despite which he was achieving quick lap times. I retired him from the race so as to avoid further damage to the internals of the gearbox which now needs to be repaired in time for the Canadian Grand Prix,'' Mallya added.

However, the Force India owner said the performance here has given his team a great deal of confidence which will help them to perform better in future.

''This performance in Monaco has given a huge boost to the confidence of the team and our drivers. Though we are sadly disappointed we will take away many positives and renew our determination to demonstrate further improvement over the rest of the season,'' Mallya said.

UNI

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