Force India is targeting a return to double point scores at this weekend's Russian Grand Prix, confident that another raft of developments will make the VJM08B a stronger proposition for Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
After a first corner incident that saw Perez bouncing through the gravel and needing attention to a puncture, Hulkenberg was the team's only scorer last time out in Japan, but team boss Vijay Mallya is optimistic that the unique Sochi street course will play to Force India's strengths as it attempts to cement a top five finish in the constructors' standings.
The Silverstone-based team needs results to go its way if it is to close the 62-point deficit to fourth-placed Red Bull, and is more focused on securing fifth overall under pressure from Lotus, which heads to Russia just 17 points adrift. Mallya, however, is confident that his squad has the weapons to score heavily in Sochi.
“I'm feeling optimistic as we approach the final couple of months of the season,” the Indian insisted, “In Singapore and Japan, we continued to show competitive pace and, despite missing the chance to score with both cars, we remain in a solid fifth place in the championship.
“Russia will give us another chance to unleash more potential from the B-spec car. Even at this late stage of the season, we continue to bring new parts to the car thanks to all the hard work back at the factory. There's every reason to believe we can be competitive in Sochi and we expect to be up there fighting for good points.”
Perez and Hulkenberg will continue their own personal battle in Russia too, the pair heading into round 15 separated by one place and as many points in tenth and eleventh overall.