Vijay Mallya says Force India must make a 'step forward' if they're to beat Sauber
Fight is on for sixth place in the Constructors' Championship
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: 22/10/13 5:54pm
Vijay Mallya: Force India must make a step forward
Ahead of Force India's home race, Vijay Mallya has said the team need a "step forward" if they're to hold off the renewed challenge posed by Sauber.
The Swiss team are currently enjoying a strong run of form, having picked up a total of 38 points in the past four races. They now stand 17 points behind Force India, who have claimed just a single point during the same period.
Team co-owner Mallya acknowledged that Force India have a "real fight" on their hands if they're to hold on to sixth place in the Constructors' Championship, starting at the Buddh International Circuit this weekend.
"The races after the summer break haven't been very positive in terms of scoring points, but the morale in the team remains strong," he said. "Korea and Japan were not the easiest of weekends, but everyone in the team is working really hard to recapture our early form.
"It's all a matter of finding the right balance with the car - when we do that, we will be back in the points.
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Unlike Sauber, Force India scored consistently well in the first half of the season and believe the decision to change tyres for safety reasons during the summer was crucial in their reversal of fortunes.
"Sauber have been doing a very good job lately. They are the in-form team at the moment and they have been taking all the opportunities that were presented to them," Mallya added.
"It's going to be a real fight in these last four races: we need to make a step forward to hold them off, because they can qualify well and they have strong race pace as well."
Paul Di Resta, who has not scored since the British GP at the end of June, has targeted a place in Q3 in India.
"We didn't score points in Japan but we made some real progress with setting up the car, so going an extra step and getting in the top ten has got to be the goal this weekend," he added.