Force India duo say team making progress towards the front
|By Simon Strang||Wednesday, July 11th 2012, 15:04 GMT|
Force India's drivers are convinced the team is making forward progress and has improved its competitiveness in comparison to its immediate rivals Sauber and Williams.
Paul di Resta retired on the second lap of last weekend's British Grand Prix, while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg fell out of the points in the final laps having qualified fast enough to make it into Q3, though he would later receive a grid penalty for a gearbox change.
But both drivers recognised that Silverstone was not perhaps the circuit most suited to the VJM03's strengths and believe that they can replicate their Valencia from - where Hulkenberg finished fifth and di Resta seventh - in future races.
"Valencia we were very strong and in up and coming events we should be relatively optimistic that we can do something," di Resta told AUTOSPORT. "I think we have made step forward.
"The teams around and about us started very well but we are catching up and so long as we can keep the progression and the level going... the guys are working hard and trying hard to understand it all."
Hulkenberg agreed that the updates the team brought to Valencia have improved the car, but added that Force India must keep pushing if it wanted to stay in touch with Williams (which has won a grand prix already in 2012) and Sauber, which has been on the podium twice thanks to Sergio Perez.
"I would say we have improved step-by-step," said Hulkenberg. "In Valencia P5 was good, but there were four cars in front which dropped out - which normally would have been in front of us and that is also pretty clear.
"We are getting better, but we to as well if we are to compete with the likes of Sauber and Williams – who are our main rivals – and to stay close to them in the Constructors' Championship."