Force India holding back F1 windtunnel upgrade ahead of 2017 rules

Force India is holding fire on upgrading its windtunnel programme ahead of the introduction of the radical rule changes for the 2017 Formula 1 season

Force India holding back F1 windtunnel upgrade ahead of 2017 rules

Force India is holding fire on upgrading its windtunnel programme ahead of the introduction of the radical rule changes for the 2017 Formula 1 season.

Earlier this year Force India switched to the Toyota windtunnel in Cologne as the team felt it had gone as far as it could with the one used at Brackley.

However, deputy team principal Bob Fernley has revealed the team is only using a 50 per cent model, rather than the 60 per cent that is allowed under the rules.

The team is keen to switch to the bigger model, but it believes with the revamp of the regulations for 2017 it is best to wait.

Fernley told Autosport: "Some of it's budgetary. We need to make sure we can afford to do it.

"The other is timing - do we do it for '16 or '17? Probably '17 will be the one we take, in particular given the changes that are due to come in.

"When we first started with the programme, obviously the radical '17 changes were not necessarily foreseen.

"So we are re-evaluating things now to decide what is the best programme for us."

Fernley added the switch to Toyota's facility has played a key role in the success of Force India's B-spec car, which took the team's third podium finish in its history last time out in the Russian Grand Prix with Sergio Perez.

"The new windtunnel has allowed us to compete on an even keel with the likes of Williams and other teams," he said. "The Brackley tunnel was very limited.

"We are not fully there yet because we are working on a 50 per cent model, but hopefully we will change to the 60 per cent model which will give us even more fidelity.

"And when you are dealing with these complex front-wing programmes and everything else, we just ran out of capacity with Brackley."

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