Mere months after evading a terminal collapse, Force India is moving forward once again, the Silverstone-based outfit even setting a bold target for itself in 2019.

The team’s takeover last summer by a consortium of investors led by fashion billionaire and motorsport enthusiast Lawrence Stroll ensured Force India’s survival.

But fresh capital and new management expertise at the helm has also put the pink outfit back in the fast lane, where it aims to develop and compete for a spot among the sport’s front-runners.

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“Without Lawrence Stroll coming in, we would not have got to the race in August,” team boss Otmar Szafnauer told Brazil’s Globo.

    Stroll likely to get first Force India run at Abu Dhabi tyre test

Szafnauer is still in the process of getting acquainted with Force India’s new owner, but from the outset the two men shared the same vision of the team’s future.

“I’ve been in F1 for 20 years and we started talking six months ago,” explains Otmar.

“But I have realised we are both (North) Americans and have similar ways of looking at and reacting to things.

“He wants to accelerate the growth of the team to the maximum to reach the top three who are dominating.”

Such a bold ambition will obviously require a fair amount of work, development and fine-tuning, and will include a change of name and a new factory in the future, but it’s all been set in motion.

“We want to fight for third place. I think we and Renault have a chance of getting closer to Ferrari and Mercedes in 2019,” he insisted.

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