Force India boss Vijay Mallya says his team's main priority for the upcoming races will be to stay in touch with its Formula 1 rivals.
The European season kicks off in Spain this weekend, and most teams are expected to introduce major updates to their cars following the first four races of the year.
Force India, however, has delayed the introduction of its B-spec car at least until the Austrian Grand Prix, the eighth round of the championship.
Mallya is confident the updates will mean a significant step for Force India, but he is aware the team is facing a challenging couple of races until then.
"Our pace has been improving with each race, but we will need to wait a little longer before we can make a big step," Mallya said.
"I'm optimistic about the updates we have planned and we are working hard to get them to the track as soon as possible.
"The priority over the next few races is to stay in touch with the teams around us.
"As it stands, fourth place in the championship is just 12 points ahead of us, so we need to keep fighting hard and picking up points when we can."
He added: "We know the VJM08 is not where we want it to be and that we need to work hard to unlock more of its potential.
"It's still early days in the season, but it's worth noting how closely-matched the midfield teams remain. There are times when we see up to ten cars within half a second of each other, which means that any improvements we can bring to the car will have a big impact on our results."