Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley insists that the team is doing better than expected after the opening four rounds of the F1 season.

Paul di Resta matched his best result in F1 with sixth in Bahrain at the weekend, meaning the team heads back to Europe having scored in three of the fly-away races that kick-started the campaign.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Fernley revealed that the team had performed better than expected in the early stages of the season, with the a major upgrade planned for the next week's Mugello test in an effort to move the team further up the pecking order.

"Our plan heading into the first four races was to use good race craft and good strategy with a car that perhaps wasn't where we wanted it to be," he said, "and I think we delivered on that quite well, with only the one bad result in Shanghai.

"We're probably better off than we thought in some ways, but we still have to deliver the next bit.

"Of course, we've some wonderful teams around us who are not sitting still either, so it depends on what they deliver and whether we can close the gap.

"As to whether we've given ourselves a platform now, and with the package to come, hopefully the answer is yes."

Fresh from his impressive result at the Sakhir circuit, di Resta said he was confident that the upgrade planned for the start of the European season would allow the team to made progress.

"After what Sauber did in Malaysia, it keeps them in our sights," he said of his result. "If we now put performance on this car then we can get by them. We always knew maintaining sixth place (in the Constructors' Championship) this year was going to be difficult.

"But we'll keep on track, picking up the points we're doing, and being realistic about it, if we can get results like the one in Bahrain then they are like wins to us as a midfield team. So we've got to be happy and hopeful the upgrade we're going to bolt on the car keeps us in this position going into Barcelona."