London: Force India are enjoying their highest-scoring Formula One season, the team punching above their weight to secure fourth place in the constructors’ championship for the second year in a row. But, as chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer wryly observes, there is a point at which success is a bit of a mixed blessing.

“Every point we gain now, it doesn’t help us to secure fourth but it does cost us in entry for the championship next year, another $5,000 per point to the FIA,” the Romanian-born American told Reuters.

“We can’t afford that,” he added, before a hasty “only joking”. Every point costs $5,161, on top of a basic sum of $516,128, when it comes to calculating a team’s 2018 entrance fee. The rate for champions Mercedes is even greater — $6,194 per point and they have 625 so far.

Force India’s 177 — four points more than last year’s haul — will cost the Silverstone-based team $913,497 on top of the base fee and there is still next week’s finale in Abu…

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