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Force India hope to sign off with points

October 27, 2009 17:09 IST

It had been an extraordinary tale of misfortune, podium, pole and bloopers for Force India and the born-again outfit now wants to sign off with some more points in the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Force India chairman Vijay Mallya's assessment is the outfit has exceeded its own expectation in the second half of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship but he is candid enough to admit that things could have been even better.

Naturally, Mallya said, the idea would be to add some more points to the kitty on Sunday.

"Brazil was a missed opportunity to score points. Adrian (Sutil) was in a prime position to get some decent points, perhaps even a podium, but it was not to be," Mallya rued.

"But the Abu Dhabi aero configuration is roughly similar to Brazil and Valencia, and even though we cannot expect rain, we can expect a reasonable level of performance in qualifying that should put us in a good position for the race," he said.

"We could technically move up a position in the championship as we're just 13 points behind Renault, but it will be tough so we need to consolidate what we have already.

"Toro Rosso have been looking very strong in recent races so it's a matter of personal pride to keep them behind. Ninth place in the championship is one position higher than last year and we need that improvement to validate all the progress we've made this year," he added.

Looking back, Mallya said the second half of the season began on a promising note but the team could not make the most of it.

"I would say this year has even exceeded our expectations as we have secured a podium, pole and fastest lap. We can be really proud of this. All the same we have had opportunities we haven't been able to make the most of, for example Interlagos, Suzuka and Monza.

"This slightly mutes the satisfaction, but it does give a lot of cause for optimism - if we can get into a similar position next year and follow through all the chances we could be solid midfield in both championships," added Mallya, also the team principal.

Sutil was equally upset, having failed to score points in Brazil despite starting third on the grid.

"I was hoping a lot for that, so it's disappointing. We have to take that and carry it to the next race. Whether we can repeat in Abu Dhabi we will have to see, but it's a relatively low downforce track and we have performed well in these conditions before so I am optimistic," he said.

Teammate Vitantonio Liuzzi, who was promoted to the race seat after Giancarlo Fisichella switched to Ferrari, said he was looking to score his maiden points for the side on Sunday.

"I'll keep pushing until the end and am still optimistic of scoring my first points for Force India in Abu Dhabi," added the Italian.

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