New Delhi: Sahara Force India might have missed out on points in last weekend`s Chinese Grand Prix, but team principal Vijay Mallya is satisfied with the performance of his side and expects the Silverstone-based outfit to repeat its 2010 showing in Sunday`s Bahrain GP.
Sahara Force India eked out two points from 2010`s Bahrain GP with Vitantonio Liuzzi managing a ninth position finish ahead of his team-mate Adrian Sutil (12th).
"Although we missed out on points in China, we take encouragement from our race pace, which showed that the developments we are bringing to the car are paying off and that we are closing the gap to our midfield rivals," Mallya said ahead of this weekend`s race.
"It`s easy to point to statistics, but Paul (di Resta) finished the race just 22 seconds away from second place and seven and half seconds away from seventh place. It shows that we can stay in the hunt for points and that we have the potential to make some good progress when the championship returns to Europe."
"Bahrain this week will be another tough test, but it`s a circuit with different characteristics and climate. We picked up points the last time we raced in Bahrain in 2010 so we will approach the weekend determined to deliver a repeat performance," Mallya added.
Sahara Force India driver Paul di Resta also agreed with his team owner and said in terms of race pace, their team is not too far behind.
"I don`t think we were too far away in terms of pace, but it simply wasn`t enough to come away with any points (from China)," he said.
"I made a good start, had a good opening lap and battled through to keep in contention with the main pack for the whole race. Points were always in sight and at times I was just ten seconds away from second place, but without any real incidents ahead of us it was difficult to break into the top ten.
"We will have the same car in Bahrain because it`s just a few days away, but it`s a very different track and we expect different weather conditions so we will try to make the most out of that," he added.
His team-mate Nico Hulkenberg also echoed similar feelings.
"I think we showed that we had pretty good race pace, especially in the final third of the race when I was catching up with the main pack, but it was a long way back after a difficult opening stint."