Force India’s deputy team principal Bob Fernley has backhanded the notion that the Silverstone-based squad are punching above their weight and believes the teams season-long battle with Williams for 4th is down to hard work and gradual progression.
“I think we’ve consistently shown over the years a progression in terms of performance, and that’s not by accident. It’s about investment and clearly the people – our team is very dedicated and very talented.
You don’t need to be throwing money at it to have results, and that’s clearly proven. On the other hand, you still need to have a sizeable budget to be able to maintain that development process. I think as a whole Formula One overspends anyway, and we don’t need to spend the amount of money, even what we’re spending, to put on a good show.”
– Bob Fernley
— Sahara Force India (@ForceIndiaF1) September 19, 2016
The turning point in the 2016 season for Force India emerged after a big upgrade was introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix. This year is a significant one for the team in terms of the overall characteristics of the car. Before this season, Force India were more predictable in that they had a car that was fast in a straight line but weaker on tracks that demanded high downforce. Since the Spanish upgrade, at least one Force India driver has scored points at every race apart from the Austrian Grand Prix.
Even if Force India finish 5th this season, they are yet again progressing up the order and challenging for podiums and top five finishes. Sergio Perez has been one of the most exciting drivers of the season and is yet to officially sign up for 2017, but there are some clues in his recent comments. He told SkySports F1 that,
“It looks like it, we are just getting to the end of the final negotiations which I really hope doesn’t change. But in this business I know by experience that things can change very quickly. When I was at McLaren everything was pretty much done, there was just a little piece of paper to be signed and it never got signed.”
– Sergio Perez