Force India has set itself the target of finishing fifth -- just behind the Big Four -- in the 2010 Championship and the Bahrain Grand Prix was the right start for the Silverstone-based outfit, its chairman Vijay Mallya said.
Vitantonio Liuzzi's ninth place finish in Bahrain put Force India just behind the Big Four of McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull Racing and Mercedes GP and Mallya said this should be the trend.
"It's what our objective was over the winter," Mallya said, ahead of Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.
"We set ourselves an internal objective of finishing fifth in the World Championship. I know there's a long way to go, but it's a right start," Mallya said.
Liuzzi's ninth place finish in Bahrain earned the team two precious points and Adrian Sutil underlined the car's potential when he clocked the second fastest lap in the Sakhir circuit.
Mallya said the team has got a really fast car and they should now strive for consistency.
"We've got a solid car to start with and we've got a good base. Now it's about the development rate for the rest of the year," explained Mallya, also the team principal.
"It was fantastic for Tonio to have scored points for the first time since 2007. Adrian's second fastest lap means there's also some good for him to take out of the race too.
"I think we all acknowledge that last year our progress was sporadic - on some tracks we were very quick, on others not so good - so to come out this strongly is a really good step forward," he added.