Force India adamant it's just been unlucky so far in F1 2016

Force India is adamant its poor start to the 2016 Formula 1 season is purely down to bad luck

Force India adamant it's just been unlucky so far in F1 2016

The team was fully expected to continue with the strong form it showed over the second half of last season following the arrival of its B-spec car in July.

But so far Force India has scored just six points from Nico Hulkenberg's seventh place in Australia, drawing back-to-back blanks in Bahrain and China, ironically the first time it has done so since the second and third races of last season.

That was despite Sergio Perez and Hulkenberg running third and fourth early on in the Chinese Grand Prix.

"It was one of those weekends," chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer told Autosport, with regard to Perez and Hulkenberg's eventual 11th and 15th places at Shanghai.

"The car has good pace. We had a good start too, it's just unfortunate we had to pit under the safety car [on lap four after Daniel Ricciardo's tyre blowout] and then had to go through the field.

"When you do that you take a bit more out of the tyres than you planned, and because of it we pitted it a little earlier than we had planned.

"Our last stint was longer than everybody else on the medium, and that's when some of the others were able to overtake us."

Szafnauer knows for the team to make good on the potential of the VJM09 it has to have a clean weekend, which has so far eluded it.

"It's very close in the midfield where we are, so when that happens you have to get everything right," he said.

"First race [in Australia]: red flag, nothing to do with us, it couldn't have been at a worse time. Second race [in Bahrain]: both drivers crash.

"This was only the third race, and the good news is we've got the pace in the car as we qualified both in the top 10.

"We just have to continue it through with a faultless race, and then we'll be in the points.

"Obviously it's disappointing, though, we haven't shown our true pace in a race as there has always been something that has happened, either a crash or red flag, and then it was a safety car, but we'll get there."

Szafnauer believes Force India has too much going in its favour not to get it right. The team is currently seventh in the constructors' championship, behind Haas and Toro Rosso.

"We'll continue doing what we're doing," he said.

"We'll continue to develop the car and race well.

"We've two experienced drivers, so it's a rare event to have them both shunt on lap one.

"It's also a rare event a red flag comes out just at the exact wrong time for you, so those things won't repeat themselves.

"If we just keep working hard we'll get the points that we're due."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Force India
Author Ian Parkes
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