A delighted Adrian Sutil believes Force India is now ready to fight for points in every race following his strong fifth in Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.
The 27-year-old German fought off a huge assault by his friend Lewis Hamilton of McLaren in the closing stages to regain his position.
“It was always very close with Lewis just behind in the closing stages, but I knew that if I didn't make any mistakes I wouldn't have any problems,” he said.
“So, it was just a case of trying to concentrate. I had to push, of course, but it was under control.
“The race was exciting and fifth place in the end was a great achievement. I was hoping for a good race, as we were so close in the first two races, but then I had a little bit of back luck that stopped us scoring.
“It was a good overall performance from the team here. “I think we can now carry this forward to China next weekend.
“We are still a good top 10 competitor and we need to continue like this, Q3 and a few points each race would be great at this stage in the season.
Team boss Vijay Mallya agreed that Force India had now proved it was a consistent points contender.
“Three races and three times in the points, I am absolutely delighted,” he said.
“Adrian had a strong race, keeping a cool head under pressure when a charging Lewis Hamilton was right on his tail.
Indian Formula One driver Karun Chandhok finished the race 15th, ahead of Hispania teammate Bruno Senna. Karun was pleased having finished the second race on the trot.
“I am very, very happy to have finished my second race today after our difficult debut in Bahrain,” Karun said.
“I kept out of trouble and pitted on lap 17. On lap 45, I had a tricky moment, passing Jarno Trulli's Lotus.
“A great thanks to the team who did a fantastic job. To finish was very difficult today but I am happy to have done it,” said the Chennai lad. — Agencies