Vijay Mallya says Force India can celebrate its success in 2015 before a wheel is turned at the season finale and its 150th F1 race in Abu Dhabi, having already secured fifth place in the F1 Constructors' championship.
The Force India team principal is revelling in his squad's recent progress with the B-specification of its VJM08 car which was introduced at Silverstone, collecting 81 points from the last eight races to produce the team's best strike rate since joining the grid in 2008, and as a result the team has guaranteed its best season in the sport.
Mallya says he wants his whole team and drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg to enjoy the last race of the season without the pressure of hunting optimal results.
“Heading to Abu Dhabi with fifth place in the championship already secured feels pretty good. It means we can approach the last weekend of the season free from pressure and with nothing to lose,” Mallya said. “Our focus is simply on enjoying the race and ending the season in style. Abu Dhabi will be a special race for us as it marks the 150th of our history as Force India, and we will aim to celebrate it with a strong performance on the track.”
“All season I've been saying how proud I am of my team – particularly our development curve in the second half of the season and we have been competitive at every race.”
Perez notched up the team's second ever F1 podium finish at the 2015 Russian Grand Prix along with frequent top six finishes and Mallya is convinced his team can push for more next season with the sporting regulations remaining constant until the rules revamp expected in 2017.
“With stable regulations for 2016, there is every reason to believe we can carry this form through the winter and into the new season,” he said. “There is plenty to be excited about and a lot of positive energy in the team.
“This weekend's race is simply another chance to demonstrate how far we have come. Our aim will be to qualify in the top ten and add a final helping of points to our tally."
Force India will be hoping to secure top ten spots for both of its drivers in the final 2015 F1 Drivers' championship table. Perez currently sits in ninth position, 16 points ahead of team-mate Hulkenberg, who holds a slender three-point advantage in tenth over Romain Grosjean and Max Verstappen.