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Mallya wants Force India to target Sauber

ESPN Staff
October 23, 2012 « Williams hopeful of balance solution | FIA expects new Concorde Agreement in coming weeks »
Force India has enjoyed a consistent run of competitiveness since the summer break © Getty Images
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Vijay Mallya wants Force India to attempt to overhaul Sauber in the constructors' championship despite a 27 point deficit.

While Sauber has scored four podiums so far this season - the latest being Kamui Kobayashi's third place in Japan - Force India has been scoring points consistently and Nico Hulkenberg's sixth place in Korea reduced the gap between the teams by eight points. Mallya admits that it is a big deficit to try and erase over the final four races but believes a double-points finish in the team's home grand prix could prove crucial.

"I remember how proud I felt last year to see our cars racing in India in the colours of the Indian flag," Mallya said. "It was a moment I had dreamed about and a great sporting achievement for our country. To score points was the icing on the cake. This year I would like to go one better and see both our cars in the points - at the very least - so that we can give our fans something to smile about. The gap to Sauber is now 27 points. It's a big lead, but not impossible to catch them before the end of the year. There's still a lot of racing to go and we will keep the pressure up for the final four races."

Mallya also believes that the team's form from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards is testament that his target is realistic, with Force India scoring 43 points in the last five races.

"It certainly feels like we have upped our game since the summer break and it has been satisfying to see us up there fighting for good points. The only frustration is that we have not always managed to get two cars in the points and that has hurt us in the championship. But in terms of outright performance, I think we can be pleased with our level of consistency. We've had at least one car in the top ten of qualifying in over 80% of the races and scored points in 75% of the races. While we may not have finished on the podium this year, it is our consistency that has been key to our success and kept us in the fight."