Frustration. The one word you can use to describe Force India’s last two Grand Prix weekends in China and Turkey.
Not picking up any points at both Shanghai and Istanbul Park will have been a disappointment but all is not lost for Force India.
With new aerodynamic developments in place, the team could find themselves much closer to Mercedes and Lotus Renault. But Force India need to be beating Toro Rosso and Sauber which is something they have failed to do in the last couple of races.
Force India are not a million miles away from the top ten and if they can continue to make improvements to the car then who knows what the team can achieve.
The Turkish Grand Prix weekend was not the best of weekends but there is still a long way to go and I am confident Force India will have a strong 2011 season.
Adrian Sutil finished the race at Istanbul Park in 13th and Paul di Resta was forced to retire from the race. Sutil had an exciting battle with Sauber’s Sergio Perez towards the end of the race in which Adrian came out on top and finished ahead of the young Mexican.
Despite retiring from the race, di Resta has nothing to be ashamed about and the Scotsman has made a solid start to his Formula One career.
Turkey saw Adrian get the better of his team-mate in qualifying for the first time this season. The German qualified 12th and Paul qualified just behind him in 13th.
Qualifying in the last two Grand Prix’s have been encouraging and both Sutil and di Resta were not far away from making it into Q3 in Turkey. Mark Webber’s stunning drive in China and Kamui Kobayashi’s 10th place finish in Turkey after starting from the back of the grid has raised questions as to whether qualifying near the front of the grid is important.
For me it is still important to qualify higher up the grid. At least then you have got a better chance of picking up points. But still qualifying outside the top ten means you can start the race on any tyre compound and you will also save more tyres for the race itself.
I did fancy Sutil and di Resta to make inroads towards the points scoring positions but unfortunately they were unable to score any points at Istanbul Park.
However once Force India have their new aerodynamic package in place, I am certain the team will be challenging for points on a regular basis this year. Making small improvements to the car every weekend could be the difference in the team scoring and not scoring points.
The fifth round of the Formula One 2011 calendar heads to Spain which marks the return to Europe. The Spanish Grand Prix is usually the race where the majority of teams bring updates to the car. For Force India this will be no different.
Circuit de Catalunya is one the circuits all drivers are familiar with and di Resta is very much looking forward to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.
‘We did two tests there in the winter and I had four days in the car so I already feel quite well prepared. In fact, it’s a track that all the drivers know like the back of their hand and the teams have so much data already.
It’s usually a race where all the teams bring upgrades so we will need to take a step forward if we want to stay in the mix. We evaluated a new front wing in Istanbul and we hope to have more steps coming through in the near future. The team has been working hard on this new concept and everybody is quite upbeat about its race introduction, so that’s something to look forward to.’ [Source: http://www.forceindiaf1.com]
The DRS System and tyre degradation have played a part in the exciting races we have seen this season and although overtaking is difficult at Barcelona, Sutil feels the race in Spain this year will be different.
‘I think we should see some overtaking. There is a long straight and tyre degradation will be high. I’m sure the race will be a bit different to what we have seen in previous years.’ [Source: http://www.forceindiaf1.com]
And Team Principal Vijay Mallya adds that the new regulations have achieved their objectives.
‘The races have been very exciting and the new Pirelli tyres and DRS have helped to add more unpredictability. I believe this close racing is great for fans of our sport, who can look forward to more of the same this weekend. Hopefully both Force India’s will be in the hunt and challenging for points.’ [Source: http://www.forceindiaf1.com]
With back to back races coming up now in Spain and Monaco, Force India will be looking to score points in both races. The last two Grand Prix’s have not been ones to remember for Force India but there is hope and with upgrades planned, perhaps now we will start to see the best of the VJM04.
Listen to the Turkish Grand Prix podcast for Formula1 FanCast below.