Monza: Sahara Force India made a good start to the second half of the season with 13 points at Spa and the Formula One outfit is optimistic of carrying forward the momentum into the Sunday`s Italian Grand Prix.
Monza is a high-speed circuit with low downforce and teams come here with specific changes to their car, specially the wings, and the team is confident of a good performance.
"The car was working well in Spa and looked competitive on the straights so I`m hopeful we can carry this over to Monza where we run with even less downforce," Team Principal Vijay Mallya said.
The team is aware that mid-field has very tight competition this year and they need more performances like that of Belgian GP to realise the target of finishing sixth.
"I remember this time last year saying that it was the most competitive season ever in the midfield but this year has surpassed even that. Sauber and Williams have been on the podium and will continue to be strong in the remaining races.
"But at the same time I believe we have the car and the team to beat them. I also remember last year we performed better in the second half of the season so I`m optimistic for the remaining races," Mallya said.
Nico Hulkenberg, who had career-best fourth place finish at the previous race in Spa, is eyeing another strong finish.
"It is the last high-speed circuit of the year and the atmosphere is just brilliant. Obviously every team brings a new wing configuration to Monza because the track is so unique, so we have to wait and see how our aero package performs there. The target remains more points on Sunday," Hulkenberg said.
Paul Di Resta, who was also in top-10 at Spa, said it will be challenge to get a good race at Monza.
"It always takes a while to get used to the car because we run with a lot less downforce compared to any other circuit. Your braking distances increase and we`re travelling about 25 km/h faster than we do all year. So adapting to that quickly and getting up to speed is always a challenge," the Scot said.
Di Resta said timing of the braking would be key in getting a good lap time during the qualifying.
"I think it`s mainly about getting the brakes right. You need to have your brake balance spot on and it`s not easy when you`re changing fuel load ? especially in practice and on low fuel in qualifying. You also need to be aggressive and use the kerbs to get the laptime," he said.