F1 midfield battle worth $9-million

Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04 and Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C30 battle.Oct.3 (GMM) Sixth in Formula 1 is not usually a headline grabbing battle, but for three midfield teams in 2011 it is a hard-charging scrap for no less than $9-million prize money.

With five races to go this season, Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault are headed for the five highest positions in the constructors’ championship.

Behind them, Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso are all separated by less than 20 points, and the ultimate prize is nearly $10-million according to the income distribution system of the Concorde Agreement, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports.

The report said Sauber have pushed forward developments of the 2012 C31 car to debut this weekend at Suzuka.

“We will move heaven and hell for this sixth place,” said team boss Peter Sauber.

At Toro Rosso, the Faenza based team has been doing more crash tests in order to debut new nose and sidepod developments as soon as possible.

“We have taken a step forward. I think we can try to attack Sauber and try to finish the championship in front of them,” Jaime Alguersuari told Marca sports newspaper.