Adrian Sutil has admitted that he expects to be racing for places at the tail-end of the points in 2010 after seeing the relative performance of other teams during pre-season testing.
The German, who enters his fourth year as a driver in the top flight, has been happy with the performance of the new VJM03 since its launch ahead of the first Jerez test, but admits that it is unlikely to be challenging for race wins against the likes of Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren.
"I think we should still be able to reach the top ten," he told GPUpdate.net
, "It will be a challenge, for sure, but we're aiming for positions eight to twelve, let's say - that's my area. I think Williams and Toro Rosso look quite good as well. I'm not sure about Renault but they should be more or less in our area too, so [there are] quite a few teams."
The second Force India car came good late in 2009, allowing Giancarlo Fisichella to claim pole position and second in the race at Spa and Sutil to qualify on the front row in Italy, but proved unsuitable to other circuits, notably those with slow corners and needing greater downforce. Sutil, however, is confident that VJM03 may be more flexible when it comes to racing in 2010.
"It's more of an all-round package," he confirmed, "We have tried to concentrate on the weaknesses which we had last year on a few of the circuits, so we're looking for downforce. I also think that our straight-line speed advantage has gone a little bit now, because other teams have picked up their top speeds quite a lot, so I don't see us having that advantage anymore. We had a really fast car last year of course, especially in Belgium and Monza, but were not so good on the street circuits like Monaco and Singapore where we struggled a lot, so hopefully it's a better package all together."