Nico Hulkenberg says he feels Force India can beat Williams in the constructors championship this season and could even overhaul Sauber to secure a place inside the top six.
Force India currently hold eighth place in the standings with 46 points, leaving them just seven points behind Williams, although Sauber in sixth have a 34 point buffer.
So far in 2012, Force India has shown flashes of speed, most notably in Valencia where it took a double top seven finish and in Monaco, where Hulkenberg and team-mate Paul di Resta were both inside the top eight.
Speaking to the official F1 website, Hulkenberg said he was hopeful that Force India would be able to move ahead of Williams through the remainder of the season with the possibility that it could also overhaul Sauber – even if the latter is more unlikely.
“We already showed last year that our development speed is very competitive and I do not see a reason why we shouldn't be able to repeat that again,” he said. “We're only seven points shy of Williams and I think we can catch them. I don't know whether it's possible to catch Sauber. It will be difficult, but the whole team will try their very best, that´s for sure.
“Although we improved our car, we have to be realistic. Pace-wise we are still behind Sauber, Williams and all the frontrunners. This means, that we have the chance to beat Williams, Sauber or Mercedes when our weekend goes completely smoothly and they struggle. In qualifying this happens more often, but in the race they have 50, 60, 70 laps to get their faster cars in front of ours. So our race pace actually shows us where we really are.”
Hulkenberg added that he was 'quite happy' with his season so far, even if he admits he had hoped for more from the first eleven races of the year.
“I am quite happy with how the season has gone so far,” he said. “It was a bit difficult in the beginning, but we consistently improved the car and were able to fight for points on many tracks. However, a few more points would have been possible, I guess. Especially in the first few races I had some bad luck, which cost me some better results. So I am happy, but not 100 per cent happy.”