Adrian Sutil believes Force India is on its way to becoming a front runner in Formula 1 after another promising showing from the team so far in Valencia.
Although the Silverstone-based team has not scored a point so far this year, Sutil believes that the rapid progress the outfit is making means it could be on the verge of a breakthrough result in the European Grand Prix.
"There is so much motivation," Sutil told AUTOSPORT about the mood in the team. "The car gets better and better, and we are really fighting somewhere in the midfield and that is a very different situation from the last year's. It is back to racing, fighting for position and that is what it is all about."
After finishing Friday practice sixth overall, Sutil believes his team can set its sights on as strong a performance as it delivered at the German Grand Prix - where he was fighting for points on merit before a collision with Kimi Raikkonen scuppered his chances.
"I am confident that hopefully it will be a similar performance to the Nurburgring - hopefully also in the race," said Sutil, who is hoping to get close to the top ten in qualifying.
"Somewhere close to the top ten we should be able to go. But at the moment, who knows how the fuel loads are with everyone else. You never know on Friday, but at least in the Saturday morning session we should have a clearer indication of where we are."
And Sutil has praised the efforts of Force India's technical partners McLaren-Mercedes, who have provided the team with new chief operating officer Simon Roberts.
"I think Simon is a very good guy, doing his work very professionally," said Sutil. "I think everybody in the team is just doing their thing. Nobody is being controlled too much so they have their freedom to develop everything they want, and they are doing very well at the moment.
"We are getting good updates and we are definitely on our way to the front. Aero wise there was a bigger step this year."