Force India boss Vijay Mallya says he is happy for his team to adopt new approaches in the final two races of the 2017 Formula One season, now that it has sealed fourth place in the constructors' championship.
The Silverstone-based squad wrapped up the position with two races to spare thanks to its 15th double points finish of the year at the Mexican Grand Prix. Despite facing a major regulation change over the winter, Force India has enjoyed its most successful season in F1 to date, having already scored more points in 18 races than it managed across the whole of 2016 -- the longest campaign in F1 history.
With fourth place secure, Mallya is keen for Force India to take more risks in upcoming races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, and suggested the team might run different drivers during Friday practice sessions in an attempt to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of its car ahead of next season.
"With fourth place secure, we have the freedom to take a new approach into the remaining races," Mallya said. "Perhaps by trying some different things or different Friday drivers in the car to see what we can learn for next year.
"We can also be more aggressive with strategies and take more risks. We're still hungry for strong results and want to end the season on a high note. The race in Brazil this week is an opportunity to continue our run of strong performances at the very least."
Chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer recently said Force India will consider letting its drivers race again, having placed drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon under strict team orders following a flurry of intra-team collisions earlier this year. He echoed Mallya's comments that taking a risky approach in the final two rounds could benefit Force India.
"It's a great achievement for the team but what we've not got to do is utilise the fact that we've done it to our advantage," Szafnauer said. "We've got to think differently in the next two races and do experiments or do things differently that will help for next year at the expense of this year, because this year doesn't matter."