Force India pairing Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil are refusing to become complacent despite Force India now holding the sixth place in the Constructors' Championship that it has targeted since the start of the season.
The Silverstone-based team started the year with a car that was at heart an evolution of its 2010 machine, but ran a radically changed aerodynamic concept for the first time during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix. Since then, its form has improved and it has climbed from eighth in the standings before the Monaco Grand Prix to sixth after the Italian Grand Prix.
But with Sauber one point behind and Scuderia Toro Rosso only seven points down, di Resta believes that the battle will go down to the wire. This is despite Force India being on strong form, scoring 24 points in the last four races compared to 12 for Toro Rosso and only two for Sauber.
"Last year, the team was fighting all season to get sixth place and lost it by a point," said di Resta. "It would be rather harsh if that happened again. We were the chasing ones and now we have caught up and overtaken [Toro Rosso and Sauber]. We have shown good performance, although Sauber was strong in Monza until the cars stopped. We know that this is going to be a fight all the way.
"Some cars seem to work some places and some don't. But we have changed our car philosophy, and it's a philosophy that has gotten us a lot of points this year and which will work better on the tracks coming up from now."
Teammate Sutil, who has scored points in five out of 13 races this year, pointed to Sauber as Force India's main rival. Despite Force India now having the stronger car in qualifying, he believes that the fight between the two teams in race conditions is close.
"It is tight, so we have to push on," said Sutil. "We have the better car in qualifying, but Sauber still looks quite strong in the race. That equals it all out a little bit.
"We have no reason to relax because it is so close. We are one point ahead at the moment, so we have to keep pushing to the end.