Force India team owner Vijay Mallya has underlined the fact that the Silverstone squad's success is the result of a massive group effort after his decision to overhaul the set-up during the winter.

Claiming that the 2008 campaign, Force India's first in the top flight, was very much an holding year after its takeover of the former Spyker operation, Mallya admitted to great pride in seeing his team become a frontrunner in quick time.

"I always pointed out that, last year, we basically were running the old Spyker car and that Force India really started with the beginning of this season," he explained to the official F1 website, "Even though the name of the team was Force India in 2008, it was not our car, so I consider 2009 as the first season of Force India in F1.

"This car is designed by us, built by us and has always been a competitive car, even since Melbourne. Unlike the Spyker, it hasn't always been running at the back. It is simply a hugely competitive sport that takes time. It has taken other teams years to get to the front, so the fact that we have done it in 30 races [is something] I am personally very proud of.

"I've made a lot of management changes in this team. I gave all the young engineers a chance. We don't have an equivalent of a Mike Gascoyne any more. The success is a true team effort and not the success of a single individual. That success supports my belief, my guys, my confidence, and I am very proud. This is not my achievement, but that of the whole team."

After Giancarlo Fisichella claimed pole for the Belgian Grand Prix and finished second at Spa behind Kimi Raikkonen, many expected the team to fade back into the midfield, but both Adrian Sutil and stand-in Tonio Liuzzi made it into the final phase of qualifying at Monza, with the German claiming another front row spot for the team. That, Mallya claimed, gave him more satisfaction still.

"I've told everybody that we are trying very hard and making gradual improvements and, for sure, I wanted to prove the point that Spa was not a lucky fluke," he insisted, "The performance of the car in practice, as well as in qualifying, shows that Spa was a hard-earned and well-deserved result.

"It shows that the car has improved a lot - and the fact that Tonio Liuzzi put the car in Q3 to start the race in seventh position, after not driving a F1 car for almost two years, fully justifies my selection. I hope that all the critics of Force India are now completely silenced!"