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Williams 'cannot allow' Force India to win battle for fourth

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SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium -- Claire Williams says her team "cannot allow" Force India to win the battle for fourth position because of the financial implications.

Force India climbed above Williams in the constructors' championship by finishing fourth and fifth at the Belgian Grand Prix. Williams has finished third for the past two seasons but has slipped down the pecking order in 2016, falling closer to the midfield.

Asked if the team can beat Force India to fourth with a strong second half of the season, Williams told ESPN: "We've got some issues at the moment with tyre management and aero etc... I am worried because losing fourth place in the championship means losing quite a lot of dollars as well in your prize money income, so it's not something that we can allow to happen and we are going to have to work really hard if we are going to hold them off.

"I know that Force India would love nothing more than to take fourth place and that for us would be extremely disappointing."

Williams, who was speaking on Saturday while the team still held fourth, is wary of the financial implications of dropping a place in the championship. With Williams struggling to out-develop its rivals this season there is a concern Force India could pull away in the title battle.

"I think because you've got the three teams at the top that are taking the top six positions, Williams and Force India and we are scrapping around for one, two, three points and maybe the odd occasion of being bumped up if there's a reliability issue or whatever, so [the battle with Force India] that really does worry me.

"That's not what I wanted and that's as a result of some very disappointing races where we should have capitalised on circuits that suited our car but we made a number of mistakes.