Force India can no longer 'realistically' catch Renault in F1 2018

Force India believes it can no longer "realistically" hope to catch Renault in the Formula 1 constructors' standings, after suffering its first double retirement in almost two years in France

Force India can no longer 'realistically' catch Renault in F1 2018

Renault scored points with both of its cars for the third successive race in the French Grand Prix, and now has 62 points in the battle for fourth - which puts it 22 ahead of nearest rival McLaren and 34 clear of Force India.

Esteban Ocon was eliminated at Paul Ricard after he was involved in separate first lap incidents with countrymen Romain Grosjean and Pierre Gasly, while Sergio Perez was called into the pits after Mercedes noticed a drop in his engine's water pressure.

That was subsequently traced to a water pump leak, but there was no damage to the actual power unit as the car was stopped in time.

"Realistically the battle now is for fifth place," Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley told Autosport.

"I think it will be very difficult for any of the midfield teams to overtake Renault at this point. Nothing's impossible, but they are very strong.

"They are doing what we were doing last year, when everyone else was taking points off each other.

"We had a good first half of the season with a car that probably didn't deserve to be in the points, but was in the points on a regular basis."

The last time both Force Indias failed to finish was in Austria two years ago, although Perez and then team-mate Nico Hulkenberg had completed enough laps to be classified 17th and 19th.

Prior to that, the last time both cars officially retired was at the Hungaroring in 2015.

"It's disappointing really," said Fernley of the Paul Ricard weekend.

"We didn't have a particularly good Friday. With Esteban's spin in FP1 we lost quite a bit of track time in terms of our long-run programme, then the incident with Checo's lost wheel in FP2 meant both cars had to sit it out until we knew what it was [team chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer suggested it could have been a retaining bolt problem].

"In FP3 it was wet, and we couldn't get the set-up we wanted for qualifying.

"And then the race went from bad to worse. It was a little bit beyond bad luck I think.

"Esteban was hit by Grosjean, and then Gasly. Grosjean just drove straight into him on the pit straight, and did a lot of damage to the side.

"It was a big hit and it was expensive in that we've lost a lot of points.

"Checo was losing water pressure, so we couldn't take a chance.

"Once we knew that it was dropping it was pointless continuing, because the last thing we need to lose is an engine. It's definitely not damaged, it's fine."

shares
comments
F1 2019 rule changes agreed by teams and ready for sign-off - Ross Brawn
Previous article

F1 2019 rule changes agreed by teams and ready for sign-off - Ross Brawn

Next article

Red Bull/Honda 2019 F1 engine deal at same stage as Sauber's was

Red Bull/Honda 2019 F1 engine deal at same stage as Sauber's was
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Plus

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
The in-demand helmet designer creating works of art for F1's best Plus

The in-demand helmet designer creating works of art for F1's best

GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV pays a visit to designer Jens Munser, to observe the production of Mick Schumacher’s special helmet for the Miami Grand Prix. What follows is some fascinating insight on the mindsets of Mick’s dad Michael, and family friend Sebastian Vettel

Formula 1
Jun 19, 2022