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!”
2012 F1 season
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Image © Sahara Force India F1 Team