If you’ve been following our podcasts, you’ll know that we’ve been very keen to see what Force India does this year with their chassis development. The team brought a fart of upgrades to the Spanish Grand Prix and are there this week testing in the season’s first in-season test.
Heading into the weekend, the team said that if the upgrades worked, they would continue developing the car for the 2016 season but if they didn’t, they may change their focus to the 2017 season car as the changes in regulations are significant. We were wondering out loud on Monday’s Spanish GP review podcast if the developments were considered to have worked.
According to a report in AUTOSPORT, the team principal Bob Fernley said the upgrades worked:
“Overall, it [the upgrade] worked fine because it has definitely delivered. The drivers were very happy with it.
“If we can just optimise the race set-up a bit more then I think we’ll be quite competitive.”
Having said that, they also told Ian Parkes that the switchover to the 2017 car focus would be soon:
“It’s just a matter of when we do the full switchover, and that is probably not far away.
“Pace-wise, with the right run of results, can we get our position where we need to be?
“That’s the bit we’re looking for, with still a long old season to go.”
I’m still a little foggy on the intent here as they did say the developments worked but also say they’ll be switching their focus soon. Perhaps Bob is saying both, the upgrades worked, they intend to tweak them a bit for the best race pace they can get and then move on. In the article Ian says that Fernley intends to continue developing the 2016 car after the upgrades so time will tell.
Nico Hulkenberg suffered a DNF in Spain but Sergio Perez finished 9th and in the points. The key here is getting the upgrades developed to a point where the team is consistently in the points to solidify its place in the championship and then move on.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT