Force India team boss Vijay Mallya has admitted his squad needs to improve its form urgently to avoid being left behind by its usual rivals.
Mallya had been adamant prior to the Canadian Grand Prix that there was no reason why Force India could not emulate the star underdog results being achieved by the likes of Sauber and Williams – teams that regularly occupy similar midfield positions to Force India, but that had taken podiums and, in Williams's case, even a win this year. But with Sauber now 30 points and two positions clear of eighth-placed Force India following Sergio Perez's Montreal podium, and Williams 16 points in front of Mallya's squad, the Indian team chief admitted that it is time to deliver before the points gap grows any further.
"I think Canada showed once again that Formula 1 is hard to predict at the moment. It's seriously competitive with seven different winners in seven races, all of which is great for the sport – I would certainly go along with that," said Mallya. "But while it's hard to predict, we still need to lift our game, especially if we want to target fifth or sixth in the constructors' championship.
"Yes, we've had one of our best starts to a season ever in terms of points scored, but the teams around us have also performed exceptionally well. The teams that we have been comparable with in the past few years, like Sauber and Williams, have been on the podium, and I'm sure our time will come, as long as we get things right.
"It's something we need to do sooner rather than later because we are quickly approaching the midway point of the season. I hope we can recapture our form in Valencia, return to the points and demonstrate our potential."
Paul di Resta was running fifth for Force India early in the Canadian race, before his pace faded and he dropped outside the points. Mallya acknowledged that the Montreal slump had been frustrating, but reckoned Force India had got to the bottom of its causes.
"We were disappointed with the overall outcome, but take the positives from knowing that we did have a quick car for most of the weekend," said Mallya. "After a promising start to the race when Paul ran as high as fifth, everything dropped off and we underachieved. We have looked into the issues we had in the race and believe we understand why we lost out."