Q3 and points the norm now for Force India

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Making to the final qualifying round and scoring points are now the expectation for Force India and the team is “disappointed” if they don’t get there, driver Adrian Sutil says as part of the team’s preview for the Spanish Grand Prix.

More from Sutil:

We have some aerodynamic improvements all over the car, with refinements to the front wing and bargeboard area, plus some mechanical changes aimed at improving lower speed corner performance. I think this will put us in quite good shape for Spain and see us maintaining our position. Of course you don’t know what the others are doing but the development race is so tight now, everybody is at a point where it’s hard to find every single tenth. We’ve looked very competitive in the first four races and I don’t see why that should change. The feeling in the team is positive, we’ve got a good plan, I feel very confident and comfortable in where we are and where we are going. Q3 and points is now the normal aim for us and we’re disappointed if we don’t get them.

Boss Vijay Mallya echoes Sutil’s optimism. (No, not surprising from the official PR wing of the team.)

Mark [Smith] and his team have a solid programme of developments throughout the first half of the season, some of which will come in Spain. The simulations we’ve been doing back in the factory are very positive and I’m sure we will be able to maintain the form we have shown before and maybe even move further up the field. The other teams are not sleeping I am sure, and we’ll see how much everyone has moved forward in Barcelona, but based on the way the team is working together at the factory and wind tunnel and then the superb implementation we see at the track I think we’ll have an edge.

Again, putting a happy spin on things is the job of the PR department, but as both Todd and Grace have been forced to admit in recent weeks I don’t think we all automatically laugh anymore when we read such statements from the team. Although Renault has the leg up, Force India still is in the running to be the fifth best team on the grid. And that’s quite an accomplishment.

I’ll be curious to see how Force India does in competition against Renault and, rather than Williams, the Toro Rosso duo. It could be tight in those 8 to 14 spots this weekend.

I tossed a Your View up about the podium, but I’m also curious about how we all think the mid-pack will do. Any changes? Will Renault still be out front? Maybe by more? Could Jaime Alguersuari continue his good showing? Any chance the Williams team will creep a bit closer?

Really, if you think about it, there are three sets of interesting battles to look forward to this weekend: the top 4 teams; the next three, maybe four; and then the new teams.

Perhaps that fact is the best argument against claims that Formula 1 is boring. Seems like there’s a lot of action from front to back.

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