Force India F1 owner Mallya not giving up on catching Red Bull

Force India team owner Vijay Mallya says he is "not giving up" on catching Red Bull for third place in this year's Formula 1 constructors' championship

Force India F1 owner Mallya not giving up on catching Red Bull

The Silverstone-based outfit sits a comfortable fourth in the constructors' standings halfway through the season, and has only failed to score points on one occasion so far this term.

Force India holds a 54-point buffer over Williams, which sits fifth in the points, but is 79 adrift of third-placed Red Bull, which has taken a race win with Daniel Ricciardo and five other podium finishes.

Mallya set his outfit the target of finishing in the top three of the constructors' championship at the start of the year after it achieved its best end of season finish in its current guise with fourth in 2016, and insisted that goal was still achievable.

"We should've had nine [double points finishes] at least, but eight out of 10 is pretty good," said Mallya, referring to drivers Sergio Perez's and Esteban Ocon's collision during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix that hampered both drivers' races.

"It's very satisfying to see two good, competitive drivers. I couldn't ask for more; two cars regularly in the points, it's what we need.

"We're up to 95 points in 10 races, we've never had this kind of points tally in the history of the team that I can remember.

"We're 54 ahead of Williams, our nearest competitor, and slowly consolidating ourselves in fourth position.

"Let's see what opportunities the second half of the season throws up.

"I'm not giving up on chasing Red Bull.

"It's always good to set our targets high. That allows you to really challenge yourself.

"Whether we get that or not, finishing fourth for a second consecutive year is a credible achievement."

Mallya said a planned upgrade in time for the Singapore Grand Prix was evidence of Force India's intention to continue developing its 2017 car in its pursuit of Red Bull.

"If you're able to plan an upgrade as far ahead as Singapore, obviously you have the resources to do it [keep developing the car]," he said.

"I said at the beginning of the year that given the fact the 2017 car is a brand new car with no carry over whatsoever from last year, we would have to engage in a robust development programme right through the year.

"So that was always planned and it's no surprise to us.

"We need to fine-tune correlation. Every time we make a small step, we're getting there.

"But when we finally find the sweet spot - which I hope is sooner rather than later - we should go very well."

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