Nico Hulkenberg says it doesn't feel like Force India are tailing off, although he concedes there is definitely a need to keep developing the VJM07.
Hulkenberg had managed to score points in every single race this year until the Hungarian Grand Prix at the end of last month. However while he had a number of fifth and sixth places early on, he had to settle for ninth, eighth and seventh in Austria, Britain and Germany respectively.
So is he worried the team is slipping back? “It doesn't feel we are tailing off,” he replied. “But we do need to ensure we keep updates coming and progress in the same way as other teams. Otherwise the threat is we will fall behind the other teams.
“But, yeah, maintain and hopefully make more steps in the right direction is the aim – that must be the aim.”
Hulkenberg has scored 69 points so far this season and while that is more than double the tally of team-mate, Sergio Perez, the Mexican did get that podium in Bahrain. Hulkenberg has yet to get on the rostrum in F1 despite his undoubted talent.
Asked if he could still manage a top-three this season, the German picked out Singapore as the most likely place to achieve that in the upcoming grand's prix after F1's summer break.
“Obviously in Bahrain a lot other people were still sorting out big issues engine wise, like Red Bull and that is all gone now. We still have an advantage there on the engine side, but not as big any more. So it is going to be more tricky [to get on the podium], but never say never,” he added.
“I think maybe Singapore [should be good for us] - it is quite low speed and normally low speed has been good for us.”