Force India boss Vijay Mallya lauds his team's ability to race at the head of the mid-field in F1, but laments the deficit which remains with the sport's front-runners.
The Silverstone-based outfit has been hailed as a model of consistency in the last few seasons, performing at the top of F1's mid-field and finishing fourth in the Constructor's standings for two years running.
Mallya is proud of the team's outstanding efficiency given its relatively lean budget, but bridging the gap with F1's top three teams will require a fundamental change of Formula 1's prize money arrangements.
"At the moment there is a huge gulf that we need to close on the top three teams, but I’m still proud that we are ‘best of the rest’," Mallya told First Post.
"We are racing against huge car manufacturers and we need to be realistic about what we can achieve with our own resources.
"So I’m satisfied and proud of the job we are doing, but hungry for even better results and podiums.
"The goal for the future is to maintain our position and start closing the gap to the teams ahead of us."
Under Liberty Media's guidance, Formula 1 is undergoing change, with a new regulation platform to be ushered in from 2021 and an anticipated change of the team's prize money distribution scheme.
Mallya insists the latter be recast in the interests of the sport's smaller teams in order to help level the playing field.
"It’s no secret we lack the financial might of Mercedes and Ferrari," Mallya added.
"These privileged manufacturer teams also benefit from beneficial prize money arrangements, which further widen the gulf to the independent teams.
"It’s something that we’ve always believed has an impact on the health and competitiveness of the sport.
"A more equitable sharing of the prize fund would allow other teams, including Force India, to compete on a more equal footing.
"Until this is addressed, it’s unlikely we will see independent teams fighting for race wins every week."