Force India F1 boss Vijay Mallya maintains that, despite his team being the only one without points in 2009, it is firmly on track to be achieving the goals he has set out for coming seasons.

Speaking in the build-up to the team's home race, across the road from its base at Silverstone, Mallya admitted that not having made the top eight was a little frustrating, but that there were signs that things were moving in the right direction - and that made his predictions for 2010 and 2011 remain feasible.

"I'm very pleased," the Indian claimed, "I think we've shown excellent progress and, in this sport, which is so competitive, it's unreasonable to expect some miraculous results.

"We made Q2 in Monaco, we made Q2 again in Istanbul - not by chance, but on merit - and that is a huge step forward. Now we've had two in a row and, hopefully, with a new upgrade to come at Silverstone, we should make Q2 going forward for the rest of this season, and without too much difficulty. We're not quite in the points yet, but we're a good midfield competitor. I always said that the idea would be to get some points this year, be regularly in the points next year, and I've talked about podium finishes in 2011 to coincide with the Indian GP. I think I'm pretty much on track!"

With two ninth place finishes - one each for drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil - Force India has come close to the points this season, and Mallya insists that there is still plenty of time to open the account for 2009, especially with a raft of developments appearing at Silverstone.

"It's so competitive now, and being so close is just part of the game," he emphasised, "I would have loved to have had a point - we were just one place away in Monaco and also Australia - but there's always the next race. One has to move on. Turkey was race number seven, there are still ten more to go, so we're not even halfway through the season - although it seems like that with all the activity that is surrounding F1.

"We have a fairly large upgrade scheduled for this weekend. We will introduce changes to the front wing, bodywork and floor, with one or two detail updates elsewhere as well. It's a significant step forward and I am very pleased that the team has been able to explore, build and then get this on the car before the summer break. Our rate of development has, I would say, been quite impressive given the small number of people and the limited budget we have available, and I hope the overall package will take a step forward this weekend."


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