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F1 Singapore GP: Force India ‘optimistic’ for podium charge

Vijay Mallya feels Force India can add to its haul of podium trophies this weekend in Singapore having claimed two at street circuits this year.
Force India team principal Vijay Mallya feels his squad can add to its haul of podium trophies this weekend at the Singapore Grand Prix having claimed two at street circuits this year, but has reiterated the primary target of points and fourth place in the F1 world constructors' championship.

Sergio Perez has notched up consecutive third place finishes on street tracks in 2016 at Monaco and Baku which has propelled Force India's charge to fourth against Williams.

After slipping back to fifth after Monza, Mallya is confident of a bounce back at a track which will suit the VJM09 and is hoping for a third podium result of the year this weekend.

“We've usually performed well in Singapore. We've scored points in every race there since 2010 and had some very strong performances over the years,” Mallya said. “We had our best showing of the year in Baku on a circuit that shares many characteristics with Singapore so there's every reason to feel optimistic.

"I think the warm conditions will work in our favour as well. Solid points must be the objective in Singapore and all the remaining races.”

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Despite only taking a collective five points from the Italian Grand Prix, Mallya sees them as vital at a track the team was expecting to be weaker while the battle for fourth with Williams remains very tight. Heading to Singapore Force India trail Williams by just three points with seven races to go.

“The five points we scored could prove valuable come the end of the year and to finish the European season just three points away from fourth place is an excellent achievement,” he said. “I'm optimistic some of the upcoming races will play to our strengths more than Monza and I look forward to the hard work required to earn fourth place in the championship.”

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27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09

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