Mallya sets sight on sixth place for Force India

Force India team principal Vijay Mallya believes a unique prize still beckons for his team following a resurgence in form.

Formula One News: Vijay Mallya

Just a month ago the Silverstone-based marque were expressing fears of losing sixth place in the constructors' championship following an abysmal run of results.

Falling behind Sauber would have resulted in a £6-7million shortfall in their budget for next year such is the gulf in prize money between sixth and seventh places.

But on the back of double-points finishes at the last two races in India and Abu Dhabi, Force India have clear daylight again to their Swiss rivals and that sixth place appears assured.

With two races remaining to conclude the season, in the United States this weekend and Brazil the next, Mallya is again eyeing the prospect of taking McLaren's scalp and finishing a best-ever fifth.

With 18 points the difference between the two teams, Mallya said: "I'm very pleased with the last couple of races.

"As in the first part of the season, we've recaptured our form and maximised car performance, managing the last two races very well and taking a different approach with the strategy.

"In Abu Dhabi we were the only team to achieve a one-stop race with both cars, which was a bold decision. We managed to pull off the perfect strategy and picked up the rewards.

"We're certainly now in better shape in the championship, but will never take anything for granted.

"We've scored 15 points in two races and we now have some breathing space behind us, but we won't change our approach heading to Austin - we will go there focused on closing the gap to fifth place."

Paul Di Resta, who at one stage went seven races without scoring a point based on the change in construction of Pirelli's tyres after the blow-out chaos at Silverstone, has since finished eighth in India and sixth in Abu Dhabi.

With team-mate Adrian Sutil also scoring in both events, Di Resta said: "In Abu Dhabi we played the long game and the strategy was spot on.

"We focused more on the race set-up rather than one-lap pace, and that was the key to making the one-stop strategy work.

"We've also got the car into the window that gives more consistency and confidence, so everything came together and it was a great team performance.

"Overall, the results have been a massive boost for everyone within the team."

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