Vijay Mallya says it is not over-ambitious to strive for fourth in the Formula 1 World Championship standings following the successful debut for its B-specification VJM08.

Having anticipated a difficult interim period with the existing VJM08 - a fairly minor update over last year's car - over the opening eight races, Force India exceeded its own expectations by manoeuvring itself into fifth overall just as it switched to its new specification machine.

With Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez going on to both score in the British Grand Prix, attention has now turned away from consolidating fifth to closing the gap on Red Bull in fourth. Ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, the two teams are split by 24 points.

"The debut of the b-spec car met our expectations and has delivered the performance step we anticipated. It's a boost for everyone in the team and we are moving in a good direction for the second half of the season. Over the next few races we will work hard to extract even more performance and build on this momentum.

"The double points finish at Silverstone has consolidated our fifth place in the Championship. We've picked up 28 points from the last four races and there is a good opportunity to score more points in Budapest. At the start of the year we said we would target fifth place in the standings and that's certainly an achievable goal. We are now looking at the teams ahead of us and will try and close the gap further."

Mallya also took the time to pay tribute to the late Jules Bianchi, who passed away over the weekend as a result of injuries sustained in an accident during the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. Bianchi completed a number of FP1 outings for Force India in 2012 and was in the frame for a full-time drive in 2013.

"We head to Budapest in a sombre mood after the events of the weekend. The thoughts of everyone at Sahara Force India are with the friends and family of Jules Bianchi. We had the pleasure of working with Jules during 2012 and he left a strong impression on everyone in the team.

"We came to know an outstanding young man and a tremendous talent who was destined for great things in Formula One. The world has lost a true racer and we have all lost a friend."



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