Force India F1 team admits financial issues hurting development

Force India admits it is losing out in Formula 1's midfield development race due to financial pressures

Force India F1 team admits financial issues hurting development

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon scored with seventh and eighth in last weekend's German Grand Prix, moving the team ahead of Haas into fifth place in the constructors' championship on countback.

But a financial squeeze has slowed down the progress with new parts at Force India, and chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer admitted the team has not been able to improve its car at the rate it would like.

"To win a development race you need the resources to be able to develop," he told Autosport.

"We are suffering, truth be told. If we had more resources, both financial and internal manufacturing, we'd have parts on the car quicker. And in a development race, that hurts you.

"Usually we don't take little steps, we save them all up, and then try to do them all at once, whereas some of the others try to take baby steps, and when you take baby steps you learn as you go along, and that helps your direction.

"The whole thing is better when you have the resources."

Szafnauer said there will come a point where it will be too late to manufacture and introduce upgrades that are designed but currently on hold, and the focus will have to switch to 2019.

"It's how you use your resources, not just your money but where you spend your windtunnel time," he said. "That's important too. The quicker the better."

Szafnauer said Ferrari's recent upgrade, which has boosted Haas and Sauber, has made life even harder for Mercedes-powered Force India.

"It does put a premium. Even [Marcus] Ericsson was looking to overtake Esteban. Their powertrain has come on leaps and bounds," he said.

"Mercedes have done a fabulous job for us over the years, but all credit to Ferrari, I think they've probably got the most powerful powertrain in F1 now.

"To have Haas and Sauber get us down the straights is something new for us. It's an amazing powertrain. I just hope all those battery rumours have been put to bed."

Szafnauer felt the team made all the right strategic calls to earn its results in Germany, especially as Ocon was as low as 12th in the early stages and had gone out of qualifying in Q1.

"We could have ended up with nothing if we got the decisions wrong on the pitwall, but we just kept our heads and made some decent calls," he said.

"All credit to our engineers, our senior race strategist and our strategists, they did a good job.

"And the drivers, you need their feedback too, to say what they should be doing, because they're the ones that know how wet the track is what the conditions are."

shares
comments
How Hamilton pulled off his German GP miracle

Previous article

How Hamilton pulled off his German GP miracle

Next article

Why Lewis Hamilton was only reprimanded for German GP pit offence

Why Lewis Hamilton was only reprimanded for German GP pit offence
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Force India
Author Adam Cooper
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021