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Force India: McLaren not totally out of reach
30 September 2013
Force India F1 boss Vijay Mallya has insisted his team hasn't given up on beating McLaren to fifth place in the Constructors' Championship, despite the squad's woeful form of late.
The Silverstone-based outfit heads into the Korean Grand Prix weekend 14 points adrift of McLaren, but alarmingly since the enforced tyre change after the dramatic blow-outs at Silverstone, Force India has only managed to score 3 points, while McLaren have notched up 39.
Mallya has now reiterated that understanding the revised rubber from Pirelli will be key – both in Korea and in the other five remaining grands prix.
“The objective has not changed. McLaren have a points lead over us, but they are not totally out of reach. As I've said before, turning on the tyres is paramount and we are working hard to achieve this,” Mallya noted.
“There are a lot of points on offer and we need to try and regain the performance level we showed in the first part of the season.”
“I think the race and strategy went very well for us in Singapore [last time out],” he added. “Without Paul [di Resta]'s incident we were looking at a potential sixth place finish because he was running ahead of [Felipe] Massa in any case. It shows the vast difference between what happens in qualifying and what happens in the race.
“We always knew after free practice that we had a bit of race pace and it came through on Sunday.”
So what does he expect from Korea?
“It's never been our strongest track, although we did score some points there last year. It's quite low-grip and the cooler temperatures make it a very different challenge.
"We will go there ready to learn as much as possible, try and improve our qualifying pace and come up with a smart strategy for Sunday."
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