Vijay Mallya says he remains hopeful that Force India
can secure a podium finish before the F1 season is out to overhaul Sauber in the constructors' championship.
The Silverstone-based team heads to Suzuka this weekend 26 points down on its rivals after Paul di Resta secured a fine fourth place in Singapore last time out.
Added to Nico Hulkenberg's similar result at Spa, Force India
has now outscored Sauber by nine points in the past three races and Mallya said he hadn't given up hope of securing sixth in the standings through the final races of the year.
“As I've said before that little bit of luck has eluded us,” he said. “Hopefully it will come to us one day, because we've shown the pace of the car. This is the second time we've finished fourth in the last three races, so we're becoming the bridesmaid a bit too often! Paul drove fantastically well and we earned 12 points. It's not bad to be sitting at this stage of the season with 75 points in total – we've come a long way.
“I still remember the situation in 2010 when Williams
pipped us by one point at the last race, so I guess it's not over until it's over! I'm still hoping that we can do it and one strong podium finish could help to wipe out Sauber's advantage. It all depends how strong our rivals are in the final six races, but we certainly have some momentum.”
On the back of his strongest performance so far in F1, di Resta said he was hopeful of carrying his momentum through to Suzuka as he seeks to break into the top ten in the drivers' standings.
“When we qualified sixth [in Singapore] we knew it was going to be tough to even maintain that in the race, but things worked out very well and I was able to challenge Fernando for a podium in the final stint,” he said. “I think we learned a lot in Singapore about how to get the most from the car and the aim now is to try and repeat the form we showed towards the end of the race.
“If we can do that, the momentum will carry on.”