Force India F1 team boss Vijay Mallya is hoping for at least a points finish with which to finish an encouraging 2009 Formula One season in Abu Dhabi after seeing similar ambitions dashed in Brazil.
With a straight of almost a kilometre in length and three successive quick corners from turns two to four, the Silverstone-based Force India team expects average speeds to be similar to Valencia and, with the VJM02 having shown itself to be competitive in similar conditions, Mallya is confident that Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi can send the squad into the winter break on a high.
"Brazil was a missed opportunity to score points [as] Adrian was in a prime position to get some decent points, perhaps even a podium, but it was not to be," the Indian reflected, "But the Abu Dhabi aero configuration is roughly similar to Brazil and Valencia and, even though we can't expect rain, we can expect a reasonable level of performance in qualifying that should put us in a good position for the race."
A point-scoring performance could be enough to improve Force India's place in the standings, although Mallya insists that that is not necessarily focusing on that this weekend.
"We could technically move up a position in the championship as we're just 13 points behind Renault, but it will be tough," he conceded, "We need to consolidate what we have already. Toro Rosso have been looking very strong in recent races, so it's a matter of personal pride to keep them behind. Ninth place in the championship is one position higher than last year and we need that improvement to validate all the progress we've made this year."
With a pole and podium finish in Belgium and a fourth from Sutil in Italy, Force India has opened a few eyes in 2010, but Mallya insists that he is not entirely satisfied with the campaign, leading to his push for a strong result in the finale.
"At the start of the year, we wanted points, but I also wanted to show a genuine improvement in every area of the company," he explained, "We have learned from the mistakes of last season and have really tightened up processes, procedures and working practices, which has ultimately helped us to score points and be proud of our achievements.
"I would say this year has even exceeded our expectations as we have secured a podium, pole and fastest lap, and we can be really proud of this, but all the same we have had opportunities we haven't been able to make the most of - for example Interlagos, Suzuka and Monza. This slightly mutes the satisfaction, but it does give a lot of cause for optimism - if we can get into a similar position next year and follow through all the chances we could be solid midfield in both championships."
Sutil is confident that the VJM02 can repeat its best performances when he ventures out onto the all-new Yas Marina circuit at the weekend, even if he appears a little more guarded when it comes to predicting a strong result.