Force India not giving up McLaren fight

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Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya says his team have not given up on beating McLaren to fifth place in the constructors’ championship this year.

The Silverstone-based team slipped behind McLaren at the Belgian Grand Prix. Their points-scoring rate has declined sharply since Pirelli introduced its latest tyre compounds at the German Grand Prix.

However Mallya is determined to take fifth place back from their rivals. “The objective has not changed,” he said.

“McLaren have a points lead over us, but they are not totally out of reach. As I’ve said before, turning on the tyres is paramount and we are working hard to achieve this. There are a lot of points on offer and we need to try and regain the performance level we showed in the first part of the season.”

The team lost a chance to out-score McLaren when Paul di Resta crashed out in the closing stages of the last race in Singapore.

“I think the race and strategy went very well for us,” said Mallya. “Without Paul’s incident we were looking at a potential sixth place finish because he was running ahead of Massa in any case.”

It shows the vast difference between what happens in qualifying and what happens in the race. We always knew after free practice that we had a bit of race pace and it came through on Sunday.”

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”