Force India expect more from Barcelona upgrade

2012 F1 season

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Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says there is more performance to come from the upgrade package introduced last weekend.

Fernley told the team’s website: “From our point of view our upgrade has gone in successfully. I think we’ve still got a little bit more engineering to be able to optimise it.

“Two to three tenths of optimisation would have put us fifth, and don’t forget it was the first time we’ve run it.”

Fernley admitted some concern at the step forward taken by Williams in the last race: “We’ve seen a situation with Sauber in Malaysia where they came second and perhaps had the possibility of a victory. Williams were quite strong in Australia. Both have tailed off a bit and then Williams came back exceptionally strongly in Barcelona.

“Is it peaks and troughs, or is it consistency? At the moment I’m not discouraged because I think Sahara Force India and Lotus are probably the two most consistent teams. We’re not at the front, but we’re there and thereabouts all the time.

“I think we’d be more disconcerted if Williams continued to deliver. They have a jolly good car and we’ve always said the competition is incredible, and we’ve just got to dig deep and move forward.”

He also praised Nico Hulkenberg’s drive at Barcelona: “He was very, very good.

“He had some tyre problems at the beginning, but he overcame them and delivered a superb race. His first set of tyres went off quicker than we thought they would do.

“But to keep Mark Webber behind him for that length of time was impressive. Any rust that might have been on him is clearly gone!”

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Image © Sahara Force India F1 Team

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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15 comments on “Force India expect more from Barcelona upgrade”

  1. To be honest i can’t remember seeing much of Force India in the race or hearing about them in qualifying. It seems to have been a slow weekend for them. Especially after Di Resta’s 6th place 3 weeks ago… poor performance

    1. @095cal It was not a particularly bad performance by the team, just that Williams and Sauber have cars that are much quicker than Force India and took the “limelight” so to speak. Catalunya has never been their strongest circuit either. I think we might see them do better at Silverstone or Germany.

      They lost an entire day at the recent test due to hydraulic failure I think and the first day was spent in rain so they have not had time to tweak their upgrades as well. None the less, their chances of 6th place this season look slim unless they have 1 or 2 very good results.

    2. We did get to see Hulkenberg doing everything possible to keep Webber behind a few times for about 40 laps of the race. I would agree that he had a very good race.

      Di Resta only struggled to keep up after running into some trouble after the start. He did have a fight with Massa for long, and was keeping Hamilton behind for a while early on.

  2. In a close fought season as this, they can actually surprise the field if they make their upgrades work. However, I don’t see that happening. Just like in most races, where gaps develop b/w the cars as the race grows older, similarly, I think we will begin to see a pecking order very soon. Force India need to be very sharp and about if they want to be high up in that order.

  3. Hulkenberg probably was the unsung hero of the Spanish GP. He didn’t get noticed because everyone focused on the fight between Maldonado and Alonso and maybe Raikkonen’s and Hamilton’s performances. I really hope FI will be able to give the Hulk and di Resta a more decent car as they both clearly deserve to be able to fight for at least podiums in this extraordinary season.

    1. I was impressed with his efforts keeping Webber behind. Showed a little more class than the last time I remember it happening (Monza 2010) where he cut chicane after chicane to stay ahead.

    2. i think if they can make their upgrades work, then they can do well in most of the circuits, after all vjm05 is not a bad car just that williams and sauber ahead of them at moment, any thing is possible.

  4. Force India will do an aerodynamic test at Cotswold Airport (formerly Kemble) tomorrow with American GP3 race-winner Conor Daly (son of Derek Daly):

    1. @keithcollantine So they just run in a straight line to get constant speed data? How come it does not fall under in season testing or video days as this is the first Iv’e heard of it.

      1. They are allowed to have one straight line speed testing a season.
        Last year also they did this before Canadian GP.

      2. FIA Testing Regs –

        Regulation 22.4 III:

        Four one day aerodynamic tests carried out on FIA approved straight line or constant radius sites between 1 January of the current year and the start of the last Event of the Championship. Any of these days may be substituted for four hours of wind]on full scale wind tunnel testing to be carried out in a single twenty four hour period.

  5. i’m guessing we will see Force India do well in low downforce configuration, would like to see how they do at tracks like Canada, Spa & Monza..

    1. It’ll be nice to see them have their moment in the sun by winning or coming second at one of those events, a la Sauber and Williams.

      That, and it’ll add another unique winner to our ever growing list this year!

  6. Jay (@martinwhitmarshhasdowns241)
    17th May 2012, 3:51

    Force India are not the most consistent team, but whatever

  7. Yeah, it was easy to forget about FI at the weekend just gone though well done to Hulkenberg particularly. Sauber and Williams have had their moment to shine but like FI say, it’s all about consistency. I just hope they’re strong enough for at least a couple of surprises.

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