Force India still has sights set on McLaren
17 September 2013 – Force India team boss Vijay Mallya has vowed to keep pressurising McLaren for fifth place in the Constructors' standings, claiming that the team is "definitely catchable".
With McLaren hitting trouble early in the season, Force India held a comfortable top five position after the first handful of races. But the points gap was gradually reeled in and, at the Belgian Grand Prix, the Woking-based outfit moved ahead for the first time.
Now five points behind with seven races remaining, Mallya is adamant that McLaren can still be beaten, despite his squad already switching focus to the 2014 campaign.
"It is going to be a close fight, but the good news is that McLaren still aren't that far ahead," Mallya said of the current championship situation. "They only scored one point in Monza, so they are definitely catchable.
"We need to perform better, that's very clear. We're working hard to find more performance, but at the same time we've made it quite clear that we will not compromise next year's programme. It's always a balancing act, but we know what we need to do."
Mallya added that Pirelli's modified tyres, introduced at the Hungarian Grand Prix, have caused a headache for Force India. But he is hopeful of a recovery in Singapore, where Paul di Resta secured a joint-best race result of fourth place last season.
"We've been strong in Singapore, especially last year," said Mallya. "Hopefully that will continue, but we've got to get on top of the tyres to unleash the potential of the car. Points must be the target to keep up our momentum in the championship fight."
Fifth would mark Force India's best overall ranking since entering the sport in 2008.