Force India F1 boss Vijay Mallya has admitted that his team is no longer targeting fifth place in the constructors' championship.
At the start of the year, Mallya felt fifth would be a 'realistic goal', but the Silverstone-based outfit went into the summer break down in eighth place, ahead of only Toro Rosso, Caterham, Marussia and HRT. Furthermore while Williams are only seven points ahead in P7, the gap to Sauber is more substantial, with 34 points separating the two entities.
Despite that, Mallya hasn't given up on taking sixth and matching what the team achieved in 2011, although he conceded that they will need to maximise everything if they are to manage it.
“It's the complete package [that we have to focus on during the rest of the year],” Mallya said in the countdown to next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix. “It's the car on the track, and whether it's the set-up, whether it's the downforce, whether it's the tyres, at the end of the day the whole thing has to come together as a package.
“Fundamentally it [the VJM05] is a good car. We just need to put a few more points in our pocket, that's what's important.
“Spa and Monza are among our favourite races and we've done well there in the past. We look forward to doing better in both of them, before the flyaway races start. But yes, the car has to be competitive on every track.
“We were sixth in the constructors' championship last year and we had the objective this year of coming fifth. However, the improvement of Lotus has been exceptionally dramatic, so I think to target fifth is probably overreaching our capabilities for this year. We should at least target sixth [though], where we finished last year, and that means getting ahead of both Sauber and Williams,” he summed-up.