The Force India F1 team is still on course to be challenging for podiums in two years time, according to chairman and team principal, Dr Vijay Mallya.

Force India have yet to break into the top-eight this season, however following a competitive British Grand Prix, that saw Giancarlo Fisichella race to tenth overall, just under two seconds from P8, the Silverstone-based outfit has high hopes of opening its point-scoring account this weekend at the Nurburgring.

Indeed Mallya was encouraged by the new aero package that debuted three weeks ago and with smaller modifications planned for the German Grand Prix, Fisichella and Adrian Sutil could yet spring a surprise.

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"[At the start of the year] we were constrained by time in designing and building the initial version of the VJM02, and we had very little pre-season testing time. We knew we had to introduce a significant upgrade in Bahrain, then a more comprehensive upgrade at Silverstone. I think this upgrade showed that the car is now a true, strong midfield competitor," said Mallya.

"The bottom line is that we're there now, and all that I had programmed for the team in terms of gradual improvement in 2009 is happening. Given our relatively small size, this is a great achievement and we'll keep going flat out up to the mandatory August break.

"I hope that we will score some points during the remainder of this season. Otherwise I'm more than just optimistic - in fact I'm pretty confident - that from 2010 onwards we will be in the points on a regular basis.

"And that leads me to believe that my often stated objective of being on the podium in 2011 isn't a pipe dream anymore!"

So what can be expected from Force India at the 'Ring?

"As we have had a longer gap between Silverstone and Germany the team back at the factory has been working very hard on consolidating the step forward we made at the last event," Mallya continued.

"We will have a continuation of the new front wing assembly we used in Britain and a new detail on the floor.

"The upgrades at Silverstone gave us extra performance and we'd all like to convert this into a points-scoring position in Germany. Giancarlo was so close to getting them and as I've said, if we had qualified higher perhaps it could have been our race.

"I know Adrian was frustrated by the Grand Prix and, with this being his home event, he will want to put on a good show in Germany."

Asked how satisfying it is to see his team now running in the midfield, Mallya noted that it is a big boost, especially given how the new rules have tripped-up a number of the 'big boys', most noticeably McLaren-Mercedes and BMW Sauber.

"To be beating cars like the McLarens, the BMWs, the Renaults says a lot for a small team like Force India. At Silverstone there were no luck stories, like it rained or some extraordinary event happened. This is pure racing and that's what gives me the confidence that we'll get there.

"I can only really say more when we actually get points in our pocket. The commitment of the team and the guys in the factory is fantastic. And not only are we running well, our preparation is also top notch.

"Adrian's car was a wreck after qualifying but in effect they built up a new car overnight and Adrian took the start. It was a great effort.

"The entire team is so motivated now, they're going that extra mile. Everybody was pleased with the Silverstone performance, and I think this gives them the confidence that they can actually do it," Mallya summed-up.