'Fundamental' issue with Force India's F1 car is holding it back

Force India admits its new Formula 1 car is being held back by a 'fundamental' problem that is affecting its balance in corners

'Fundamental' issue with Force India's F1 car is holding it back

The Silverstone-based F1 team has had a difficult start to the season, struggling for pace and scoring only one point, thanks to Esteban Ocon's 10th place in Bahrain.

Force India has been chasing a cure for an issue that first emerged in pre-season testing, which has held back aerodynamic development.

"It started probably between the Barcelona tests and Melbourne," said technical director Andrew Green.

"We were a bit dubious about the data we were receiving, whether it was real or not, and then we needed to perform more tests on the car and some additional logging, instrumentation, to see if it was a real phenomenon or not.

"Everything we have seen so far suggests it is real, so we have been attacking it to try to instigate a change, but as of yet we have yet to make any real inroads into it."

Green said the early indications of what he refers to a "fundamental underlying issue" pointed to its CFD and windtunnel data not aligning with how the car has performed in the real world.

"It is not a tunnel issue, it is a full-size issue," he added. "It doesn't match tunnel or CFD.

"The tunnel and CFD match, but unfortunately they don't match reality."

Green said that the fluctuating balance at the rear was also making it difficult to evaluate other car parts, like the new front wing trialed in Bahrain.

"We are still very confident the front wing does what we wanted of it," he said.

"But it was designed to go with a car that generates more rear load, which we don't have at the moment.

"Once that load appears and you put the wing on, that generates even more rear load so it is a double whammy."

Green said it was "incredibly difficult" to judge Force India's potential because "it is very difficult to manage the rear tyres when you have a fluctuating rear load".

He hopes an update planned for next month's Spanish Grand Prix will help cure the problem, but admitted it could be more serious and related to its underlying car concept.

"With a clean sheet of paper we could probably solve it straight away, but we don't have a clean sheet of paper, we already have a car that exists," Green said.

Renault Sport chief technical officer Bob Bell said it was "surprising" how far back teams like Force India and Williams are this season, but said things could change quickly if they discover the root cause.

"Sometimes you can push it a little too far and the windtunnels or CFD don't tell you the truth and you just go over the edge," he said.

"When you discover what that is and you fix it you can take quite a step forward."

shares
comments
Is F1 finally set for its big-three battle royale?
Previous article

Is F1 finally set for its big-three battle royale?

Next article

Formula 1 urged to think 'seriously' after spate of unsafe pitstops

Formula 1 urged to think 'seriously' after spate of unsafe pitstops
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

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
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