Force India may be unlikely to repeat its stunning Belgian Grand Prix pole position performance of 2009 this weekend, but team principal Vijay Mallya has no doubt the squad has a much stronger car on its hands now.
Giancarlo Fisichella scored a major upset two years ago at Spa when he delivered pole position and battled Kimi Raikkonen for victory, at a time when Force India's car was optimized for low-drag circuits. Since then the team has worked hard on ensuring its challengers are suited to all types of tracks. And although that means it will not be perfect for Spa, Mallya believes the squad is in much better position overall.
"I always enjoy coming to Spa. Not only is it an evocative and historic venue, it's also the scene of our greatest success to date and I have many happy memories of our podium two years ago," Mallya said. "The big difference this year is that we arrive at the Belgian Grand Prix with a car that is much more complete. In the past, our great strength was straightline speed, but the car is now strong in all areas. The proof of that can be seen in our recent results with one car in Q3 at the last four races and 14 points from the last two.
"So, we enter the second half of the season in high spirits. The drivers are pushing each other hard and are extremely motivated. The car is delivering good performance and we are taking the fight to the big teams. It was hard to imagine we would be in this position after our slow start to the year, but I never stopped believing. When you consider how competitive Formula 1 is, everyone in the team can be proud of where we are.
"We're well aware there is much hard work ahead to maintain this and we still have a big task facing us in the constructors' championship. But following the August break we come back refreshed and ready to deliver again this weekend."
Force India is just nine points behind Sauber in the constructors' championship, and Adrian Sutil believes its recent step forward in form can help it close the gap further.
"I think we can have another competitive weekend because the last couple of races have shown what we are capable of. We seem to have a car that is working well everywhere and our qualifying and race pace has been strong. We just need to keep up the momentum and keep picking up the points," he said.
Paul di Resta added: "Spa is a track that has historically been strong for us. And our recent form gives us every reason to believe we can carry on where we left off in Hungary. We know our competitors won't have stood still, but we're still pushing hard with development and determined to get as much performance from the car before the focus shifts to next year."