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Mallya confident Force India will beat Sauber

Nov 19, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of USA - Race Getty Images

Force India co-owner Vijay Mallya believes his team will see off a threat to their sixth place in the constructors’ championship from rivals Sauber in the final race of the season in Brazil this weekend.

The gap between the two teams has swung dramatically in the second half of the year. Sauber took 37 points off them in four races earlier in the season but Force India hit back in the next two races with a 15-point swing pulling them further ahead.

“It was important that we secured such strong results in India and Abu Dhabi,” said Mallya. “As I said before Austin, it gave us some breathing space.”

However sixth place for Nico Hulkenberg at the Circuit of the Americas allowed Sauber to close in by eight more points.

“We are still 24 points ahead of our nearest competitor,” said Mallya. “I think the odds are in our favor, but there’s no room for complacency: we need to make sure we get the job done in Interlagos.”

Mallya said the team wasn’t able to play to its strength in the United States Grand Prix: “In the races leading up to Austin we had done very well with managing tires and pulling off aggressive strategies. Last weekend, however, with the hard compound we weren’t able to manage the tires in the same way and so our attempt with Paul [di Resta] did not pay off.”

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