New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) Force India Formula 1 team principal Vijay Mallya says his team can pull off the "massive task" of beating eight-time constructors' champion McLaren in the 2013 season.
McLaren may not seem to have a racing winning car but by scoring 20 points in Germany and Hungary before the mid-season break, they have reduced the gap with Force India who are fifth in the standings on 59 points.
The Silverstone outfit, however, drew blank from Nurburgring and Hungaroring after enjoying their best ever to a season.
Mallya said the team is working hard to recapture the form it showed till the British Grand Prix.
"We are working hard to recapture our form, but at the same time it would be foolish to underestimate the strength of McLaren. We will do all we can to hold on to fifth place but remain well aware of the massive task facing us in the remaining nine races," Mallya told IANS Thursday ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend.
What went wrong in the last two rounds?
"Neither Germany nor Hungary are tracks that traditionally suit our car, but we can't use this as an excuse. We have also been struggling to fully understand the new tyres introduced by Pirelli, but we have worked hard to fix that," said Mallya of the tyre changes introduced after blow-outs at Silverstone.
Force India lead the midfield pack and have clearly punched above their weight in the season even with the odd disappointments.
It is also a team which has fared better in the second half since joining the F1 grid in 2008. Asked whether Force India have peaked a bit too early this time around, Mallya said: "We had our best ever start to a season, but this does not mean we have already peaked.
"There are a few tracks that really suit our car and I see no reason why we will not have an equally successful second part of the year," he said referring to the low downforce circuits at Spa and Monza.