Force India will be in 'significantly' better shape this time next year, technical chief Mike Gascoyne predicts, as he eyes the outfit making steps to move off the back of the grid over the next 12 months.
Ahead of the launch of the team's 2008 colour scheme in Mumbai tomorrow, Gascoyne is bullish that the arrival of co-owner Vijay Mallya will help deliver the resources needed to improve results.
"I think there is a real reason now (to believe we can improve)," said Gascoyne during a pre-launch dinner.
"A lot of people have never really managed it, and for the last few years this team has been stumbling around, with no investment, with no chance of doing anything but running at the back.
"But I think it's possible to get to the front, if you have the right budget and the right level of commitment. I am very confident that in a year's time you will see this team be significantly better.
"How far that can really go, as a small team, is a different question. But it is possible to take this team, with the budget that we've now got, to go and get the odd podium."
Although every team on the grid shares such ambitions to improve, Gascoyne thinks that the calm approach he is setting out for his outfit will help Force India achieve what many have failed to do.
"You have to plan to grow sensibly, because you can't just throw money at it," he said. "If we can improve into the midfield, picking up points, getting investors in because of that, and investing that money in the team, then I think you can grow sensibly and achieve podiums. But that's going to take you three or four years.
"You look at the teams like Ferrari and McLaren, who are going to be at the front again this year, and they build on their stability so they can keep ahead of the game.
"Teams launch cars and say they have radical new concepts, but I don't see them going any quicker. Is it not just about doing the basics well? People believe that there is a holy grail in F1, but teams like Ferrari just re-optimise everything and they get to a better solution.
"I think you can only ever catch up by getting your heads down and starting that process, which is what Williams have done, and it's what we are going through now. We've got a wind tunnel programme now to match anyone, but we can't deny that we are two seconds a lap behind at the moment.
"It's the people that try to take shortcuts that never make it. It's lovely to think that there is a big step out there, but if it was that easy we would have all thought of it by now."
As well as expressing his confidence in the technical aspects of the team, Gascoyne is delighted with the input that new driver Giancarlo Fisichella has already delivered.
"Giancarlo doesn't quite know why we looked so bad last year, because he doesn't think the car is that bad," he said. "He's certainly expecting to surprise some people.
"He's basically been driving the car as it was at the end of last year, but we've got some significant updates to come. The car will mechanically be the basis of the B-spec we ran at the end of last year. But that will be with a full new aero package plus mechanical updates. That will run in Barcelona (later this month)."