Force India team principal Vijay Mallya says his team's car troubles have been 'solved' and both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg are aiming for a return to the points at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Mallya's squad endured a difficult Hungarian Grand Prix with both cars failing to finish after Hulkenberg's front wing dramatically failed midway through the race and sent him into the barriers while Perez, who also suffered a separate rear suspension failure during Friday practice, was called into the pits to retire due to safety concerns.
Despite a double DNF for the VJM08 – which debuted in Silverstone – Mallya confirms the team has been able to identify the faults and address the problems over the summer break.
“The summer break has given us a chance to regroup following a challenging race in Budapest. The whole team has worked extremely hard to repair the cars and solve the problems that we encountered in Hungary, and we're ready to bounce back this weekend in Spa,” Mallya said.
Force India, sitting fifth in the F1 constructors' championship, had been targeting an overhaul of Red Bull in fourth but after the pointless weekend in Hungary coupled with Red Bull's double rostrum result the deficit has more than doubled.
The Silverstone-based squad has also come under pressure from Lotus and Toro Rosso in sixth and seventh respectively, who both closed the points gap down to single figures, but Mallya says there are reasons to be optimistic heading into the second part of the year and expects an instant return to the points.
“Although the Hungarian Grand Prix was disappointing I prefer to focus on the positives, especially the strong pace we showed in the first half of the race,” he explained. “We saw that the VJM08 is capable of running comfortably inside the top ten, which gives us confidence for the second half of the season.
“Returning to Spa is always special because it's one of those tracks that truly captures the imagination. The drivers love to race here and it's a favourite with the fans too.
"We expect to be in good shape this weekend and we will be aiming for Q3 on Saturday and good points on Sunday.”