Force India sceptics can "eat their words" - Mallya
Vijay Mallya says those who questioned Force India's ability to compete at a high level in Formula 1 can "eat their words" after it finished fourth in the constructors' championship.
The outfit boasts one of the smallest budget of the 10 teams in F1 and there was doubt it could repeat its finish of 2016 given the sweeping changes to the technical regulations.
But through impressive in-season development and a strong performance from its drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, it comfortably achieved the feat.
"We set out to achieve third but landed up with fourth for the second year running," Force India boss Mallya said at the Autosport Awards.
"I had many sceptics who I advise to eat their own words and I hope it tastes good.
"I'm very proud that with our limited resource we've been able to punch well above our weight.
"Thanks to Otmar [Szafnauer, chief operating officer] and his leadership, [technical director] Andy Green, [chief engineer] Tom [McCullogh], [sporting director] Andy Stevenson.
"I have a great team of racers, with racing in their blood and who know how to make the most of what we have. We never give up.
"The targets for 2018 will be set high again and we're ready for our competition."
Deputy team principal Bob Fernley praised the efforts of the team, particularly as it managed to outscore Renault, Williams and McLaren combined.
"Coming in to this season, we were concerned about Renault, Williams and McLaren," he told Motorsport.com.
"The underlying strength of the result is demonstrated in that we have outscored all three of them put together, which is remarkable.
"Credit to everybody. It's not just what we do here, it's also what is going on at the factory. It's a team effort. That's the difference between where we are and where others are sometimes.
"We're a racing team. Reliability is the key. I think we have the second most reliable record behind Mercedes.
"It's not just to do with the power unit. It's a contributor but it's also about the chassis and how the race team is working."
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