Force India boss Vijay Mallya has said the Silverstone-based outfit is on target currently for F1 2010 – although he would 'dearly' like to see both of his cars come home in the points this weekend in Malaysia.
Mallya's team has made a promising start to the new season, and to date has scored eight points thanks to Vitantonio Liuzzi's ninth place in Bahrain and his superb seventh place in Australia last weekend.
Adrian Sutil has also gone well in the sister car and while in contrast he hasn't had much luck in the races, he has shown good pace in qualifying and both times made it into the top-ten shoot-out.
"I've always maintained that the car was competitive, particularly in race pace, and now we expect our cars to be finishing in the top 10 and in the points," Mallya noted ahead of this weekend's third round on the F1 2010 schedule.
"Tonio drove exceptionally well [in Australia] and scored points but it was very disappointing to see Adrian retire [with mechanical problems]. Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of it and make sure it doesn't happen in the future.
"I'm pleased with what we got though, although you always think it could have been better. So I'm looking forward to the next race where I'd dearly like to see both cars coming home in the points.
"I think we have every reason to be confident for Sepang. The cars are clearly capable of being in the top 10. I just hope we don't have any bad luck in terms of extraordinary events or incidents. If both cars get a good, clean race I think both should be in the points. We're on target."
Force India test and reserve driver Paul di Resta meanwhile will again be in action in free practice, although this time he will replace Liuzzi for the first 90 minute session on Friday.
"I can't wait [to get back out in the car]," said the Brit. "The team has been very welcoming to me and has encouraged me to ask as many questions as I can and learn so they can themselves meet their own targets. The goals they have set for themselves are quite high but they are realistic and at the moment everything seems to be on schedule.
"It's great for me to be part of that and I'll be looking to give them what they need when I get in the car in FP1 in Sepang. This time I'll be replacing Tonio so I'll be working with him to understand what information he and the team needs. As per last time that's more important at this stage than going for the times."
Asked how it went in Australia, di Resta reiterated that he was happy with what he achieved: "For sure, it's a very unique experience to get this sort of opportunity as a test and reserve driver in F1," he continued. "It was a very productive session, my first time in the dry in this car and also a new track, and there was a lot of positive and valuable running. I was nervous of course - Albert Park is a pretty fearsome circuit with the walls and bumps - but I was also looking forward to getting out there and learning the car again and helping the team. With each lap my confidence in the car grew and now, after looking through the data and speaking with the engineers, I feel I can give a bit more in Malaysia so the team can learn even more."