Force India team principal Vijay Mallya believes the double points on offer in Abu Dhabi will help keep the team in the fight for fifth place in the constructors' championship.
McLaren moved ahead of Force India at the Belgian Grand Prix as Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez could only score five points between them having both started outside the top ten. While McLaren scored eight points the gap between the two teams stands at just two and Mallya believes it is a battle that will go down until the final race.
“It was promising to return after the summer break with some points, although fewer than we would have probably deserved based on our pace,” Mallya said. “Both Checo and Nico showed a lot of fighting spirit to make up several positions from their grid slots and we were able to get five points as a reward. We could have possibly been a few more places ahead had we not started so far back.
“We're now sixth in the standings and coming away from Spa with five points was a good exercise in damage limitation. It means we are only two points away from fifth place with all to play for in the coming races. With the double points in Abu Dhabi, too, the battle is likely to remain open for us until the final race.”
Looking ahead to the next race in Monza, Mallya is hopeful of a more competitive weekend.
“The Italian Grand Prix is always a great event and this circuit is legendary. It is also one that should suit our car, with long straights and an emphasis on power. Both Checo and Nico have had good results here in the past and will hopefully do the same this year.”