Adrian Sutil says he is focused on breaking into the top ten in the championship standings after Force India took the covers off its new VJM04.
The team will debut the car in the latest F1 test this week in Jerez having run an interim car last week in Valencia, with the team targeting an improved showing this year after an impressive campaign in 2010.
Sutil will lead the team in his fifth season in F1 and said he was confident that the new car will allow him to challenge higher up the order this time around.
“I'm genuinely excited about the 2011 season,” he said. “I just missed out on the top 10 last year in the drivers' standings - I'm pretty hopeful I can get in there this season! The progress the team has shown over the past two years has been very impressive and what I've seen in the factory and at the wind tunnel over the past weeks indicates that the rate will continue this year. I feel very good and confident; the team and I know each other very well and we know how to get the most from each other.
“Last year we started the season really strongly and I was qualifying in the top ten at most races and regularly scoring points before the summer break, but then the second part of the year was a bit more challenging. We were still developing but the other teams had a quicker development rate, which meant we dropped some points. It's something we've worked really hard to address this year, tieing everything in together with regards the wind tunnel, track work and the design process back in the factory.
“We've got targets to finish at least one spot higher than last year so consistency has got to be key. As for podiums, why not - we should certainly be in the mix at some races.”
Sutil added that he expected excitement from the new-look regulations in the early part of the season, as teams come to terms with the return of KERS and the introduction of the new adjustable rear wing.
“For a driver it's going to be quite busy in the cockpit,” he said. “There's the KERS to activate, the moveable rear wing and the usual adjustments to engine settings and brake balance. Getting everything right and in the right order will take getting used to, but it's something we are working on very hard in the simulator.
“It's a question of making sure you have the rhythms right and then it just becomes normal. But the first few races will be interesting, even spectacular, as everyone gets used to it.”