• Force India

Force India not expecting to peak in Monaco

ESPN Staff
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Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez had a tight battle for ninth in Spain © Getty Images

Vijay Mallya admits Force India may not optimise its upgrades fully in Monaco but wants to see the team continue to mix it in the points at F1's most iconic race.

Force India has been the surprise package so far this season, having used the change in regulations and its Mercedes engine to go fourth in the constructors' championship with consistent finishes in the points, including its first podium since 2009 in Bahrain. Team owner Mallya is happy with how the season is going but is determined to react to gains being made by the team's immediate rivals after seeing Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finish ninth and tenth in Spain.

"It's a given that things will always change in Formula One, especially in the first year following major rules changes," Mallya said. "We have noticed our immediate competitors are getting stronger, but we are working hard to maintain our competitive advantage.

"[Spain] was a good weekend. Perhaps with a different strategy we could have stolen one more place with Sergio, but overall everybody seemed satisfied that we had come away with a fair result. Barcelona has never been the greatest track for us, so it was good to see both the cars in the points. We brought some updates and worked hard to optimise them, but there is a bit more we can do to take full advantage of those parts in the coming races."

Perez and Hulkenberg raced each other for ninth place in Spain, as they did for a spot on the podium in Bahrain, and Mallya is delighted with what he has seen from his drivers this season.

"They are both quick; they are hungry and competitive. The spirit is good and they respect each other. As long as they keep scoring points it keeps up their own motivation levels as well."

Mallya knows his drivers must have respect for the Monaco streets if the team is to continue its impressive run in Monte Carlo.

"Monaco is one of the premier events of the year and hopefully we can perform well there. It's a track where you can take nothing for granted because you have to balance speed with respect for the barriers. It will be interesting with the new cars because it is so unforgiving and the drivers will have to be at their very best."

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