Force India target fourth, switch focus to 2017 car

Sun Jul 10, 2016 9:06pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) - Force India principal Vijay Mallya hailed a big step forward for his Silverstone-based Formula One team on Sunday even if their main focus of development has shifted to next year's car.

Mexican Sergio Perez and German Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth and seventh in the British Grand Prix for the team's best result at the circuit just over the road from their factory.

The points left the dream of finishing fourth overall in the championship, which would be a record high for the team, looking far more possible. Force India were fifth last year, a position they currently occupy.

"We will try and finish fourth in the constructors', try and catch Williams," Mallya told Reuters in his team's paddock hospitality after the race.

"We gained 14 points on them today and with another 11 races to go we are only 19 behind. So I think it's a major step forward, and I'm absolutely delighted with the result."

Former world champions Williams, with Brazilian veteran Felipe Massa and Finland's Valtteri Bottas in their lineup, failed to score for the first time this season and have 92 points to Force India's 73.

British-based Mallya, attending his first race of the year after being unable to travel abroad due to the Indian government revoking his diplomatic passport, said it had been a 'superb weekend'.

He will not be at the coming races but has video links installed in his house so he can keep in close contact with operations at the track.   Continued...

Britain Formula One - F1 - British Grand Prix 2016 - Silverstone, England - 8/7/16
(L-R) Manor's Dave Ryan, Force India's Vijay Mallya, McLaren's Eric Boullier, Ferrari's Maurizio Arrivabene, Williams' Claire Williams and Mercedes' Toto Wolff during the team principal press conference
Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs