Force India owner Vijay Mallya is confident that the team can catch Williams and battle with Ferrari in the constructors’ championship this season.
The team has made its strongest ever start to a Formula 1 season since debuting in 2008, scoring 98 points in the first half of the year to sit just eleven points shy of its biggest haul of 109 for a season with eight races to go.
Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez have both been in good form, making big gains on 2013, and Mallya is confident that this success can sustain until the end of the season.
“Yes, we’ve been in fourth position up to the eighth race, and we’re now sitting in P5, which is fine,” he explained to the official Formula 1 website. “We did not expect that we would reach fourth and maintain it right through the season.
“The difference in points between Ferrari, Williams, us and McLaren is still not so dramatic that we don’t believe that with a better race we can move forward. So as long as we are close enough I am not worried at all. That is the nature of Formula 1 racing.
“And we must never forget that at the last race it’s going to be double points, which can change everything again.”
Mallya refused to make any predictions for where the team will finish, but instead issued a rally cry to keep pushing.
“There is a huge amount of unpredictability on who will finish where in the constructors’ championship and the drivers’ championship this year, so it’s a question of focusing, keeping it going and making sure that none of the other teams are taking too much of a lead in front of us,” he said.
“Because we can always catch up – it’s still a long way to go.”
Given that Force India’s roots came from the back of the grid as an incarnation of Jordan Grand Prix, Mallya’s achievements are highly commendable. He has brought the team up the grid and made it a serious contender for podium finishes and even race wins, and 2014 looks set to be a year to remember if this form continues into the second half of the season.