Probably because Force India are in the strongest shape that they’ve ever been in. For a team that is owned by a guy who’s been vetoed from re-entering India due to cataclysmic debt, Force India remain on the upward trend they’ve slowly been working on for the past nine years.
With the in-season development race kicking off now that the calendar is well into the European chapter, Force India have already turned their attention to 2017 research and development. They’ve near enough stopped developing the VJM09 already.
This decision emanates confidence from the Silverstone-based squad who don’t even own a wind-tunnel. The VJM09 has already scored a couple of podiums and exceeded expectation. It isn’t beyond reason that Force India can catch Williams in 4th without upgrading their car again.
The team also wield experienced, exciting drivers in Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. Both drivers have been surrounded by stories linking them to “bigger” teams throughout their F1 careers, but it’s as if both of them have decided, “f*ck that, we’ll grow with Force India.”
It’s no wonder that Hulkenberg isn’t fazed by the idea of the team turning focus to their 2017 challenger, how could he have nothing but faith in a team that continues to grow. The German said,
“We’re as happy as we can be. There’s still things we need to improve and try to work on, which will be difficult.
From now on the focus is on 2017, and there’s not going to be much more development. So it’s a case of optimizing what we have and getting the max out of every weekend.”
– Nico Hulkenberg
The German is also quietly confident about the upcoming Hungarian GP. He added,
“I think the car should perform quite well there. It’s back to more low speed, twisty stuff. Last year we had a pretty decent weekend there before the front wing failure.
This year we’re coming there with a similar car pace and a stronger front wing, and hopefully we’ll finish the race in the points.”
– Nico Hulkenberg
For a team that has developed a reputation of having a design process that puts speed/power before aerodynamic balance, this year has been a break-through too. Long-straights suited last years VJM08, meaning the team were competitive at the big straight circuits like Montreal, Monza and Abu Dhabi. This year, there is more consistency to the VJM09 – it can score a podium in the winding streets of Monaco and the long straights of Baku.
— Bravo Fernando (@BravoFernandoF1) June 20, 2016