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Mallya: McLaren fight will go down to the wire

29 Sep 2014

Force India's battle with McLaren for fifth place in the 2014 Formula One constructors' championship will only intensify over the final five Grands Prix of the season, team principal Vijay Mallya predicts.

The two teams have regularly traded positions in the standings over the first 14 races, and while Force India moved back ahead following a double points score at the last round in Singapore, Mallya does not expect that to be the final swing of momentum.

"It's been the story of our season - we were ahead, then we fell behind, and now we're back in fifth place," he said.

"I think we all recognise that the fight is only going to become even more intense as the end of the season approaches.

"To be in this position after 14 races says a lot about what we have achieved this year. We've also scored more points than ever before [117] and there is still a quarter of the season to go.

"Whatever happens in the remaining races, I'm already very proud of our achievements in 2014."

Mallya added that Force India's return of seventh and ninth in Singapore, for Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg respectively, had been the result of a bold pit strategy in the closing stages of the Marina Bay race.

"I was very pleased. The call to make the last pit stop with Checo [Perez] was an aggressive gamble - we had nothing to lose and everything to gain," he said.

"We didn't do the same with Nico because he was already running in the points and there was a reluctance to take a huge gamble with him. As Checo was out of the points, a gamble could either pay off, or we would lose nothing. Fortunately it paid off.”

Force India head to this weekend's 2014 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka leading McLaren by just six points.