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Force India not giving up McLaren fight

Sep 30, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain - Qualifying Getty Images

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya says his team have not given up on beating McLaren to fifth place in the constructors’ championship this year.

The Silverstone-based team slipped behind McLaren at the Belgian Grand Prix. Their points-scoring rate has declined sharply since Pirelli introduced its latest tyre compounds at the German Grand Prix.

However Mallya is determined to take fifth place back from their rivals. “The objective has not changed,” he said.

“McLaren have a points lead over us, but they are not totally out of reach. As I’ve said before, turning on the tyres is paramount and we are working hard to achieve this. There are a lot of points on offer and we need to try and regain the performance level we showed in the first part of the season.”

The team lost a chance to out-score McLaren when Paul di Resta crashed out in the closing stages of the last race in Singapore.

“I think the race and strategy went very well for us,” said Mallya. “Without Paul’s incident we were looking at a potential sixth place finish because he was running ahead of Massa in any case.”

It shows the vast difference between what happens in qualifying and what happens in the race. We always knew after free practice that we had a bit of race pace and it came through on Sunday.”

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