Force India team boss Vijay Mallya reckons his squad has done enough to hold its position when the whole field introduces new development parts at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
The three-week break since China and the return to Europe after four flyaway races has given all the Formula 1 teams chance to embark on their most concerted development push since the winter, with a wide array of upgrades set to be introduced up and down the pit lane at Catalunya.
Force India has made a very strong start to the year, building on its late-2009 form to become a consistent top-10 contender. Mallya says the efforts of its Mark Smith-led technical team since Shanghai should mean there is no danger Force India will be leapfrogged by faster-developing rivals.
"Mark and his team have a solid program of developments throughout the first half of the season, some of which will come in Spain," said Mallya. "The simulations we've been doing back in the factory are very positive and I'm sure we will be able to maintain the form we have shown before – and maybe even move farther up the field.
"The other teams are not sleeping, I am sure, and we'll see how much everyone has moved forward in Barcelona; but based on the way the team is working together at the factory and wind tunnel and then the superb implementation we see at the track, I think we'll have an edge."
Driver Adrian Sutil agreed that Force India should be able to hold position at least, and said he saw no reason to lower his expectations for Spain.
"We have some aerodynamic improvements all over the car, with refinements to the front wing and barge-board area, plus some mechanical changes aimed at improving lower speed corner performance," he said. "I think this will put us in quite good shape for Spain and see us maintaining our position. Of course, you don't know what the others are doing but the development race is so tight now, everybody is at a point where it's hard to find every single tenth.
"We've looked very competitive in the first four races and I don't see why that should change. The feeling in the team is positive, we've got a good plan, I feel very confident and comfortable with where we are and where we are going. Q3 and points is now the normal aim for us and we're disappointed if we don't get them."