Force India Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley has expressed his disappointment that the team have not been able to continue their impressive start to the season and has blamed the changes made by Pirelli to their tyres for the dip in form.
Pirelli changed the composition of their tyres to a hybrid of their 2012 and 2013 models following a series of failures at the British Grand Prix back in July but several teams, including Force India, were taken by surprise by the decision. Because of their start to the season, Force India felt confident that their car was in good shape to continue to perform well and had decided to focus development resources on the 2014 model leaving them ill-prepared for the mid-season tyre change.
“We did all the right things to be ahead of the game and circumstances want against us on something that we couldn’t control,” Fernley said. “It’s just a bit frustrating when we had such an incredible start and expected to be able to continue it.”
Over the course of the first nine races, both Force India drivers finished on seven occasions, with Paul di Resta even delivering a fourth place finish in Bahrain, and the team were looking well set in the Constructors’ Championship. In the six races since the German Grand Prix, however, di Resta has been forced to retire three times, and Sutil once, as the team have struggled desperately to pick up points and this is a cause of huge frustration for Fernley.
“We believed we were capable of challenging for fifth place [in the constructors’ championship] and to find that we are now desperately trying to defend sixth is disappointing,” Fernley added.
As fans who follow the betting will no doubt be aware, Force India are certainly not the only team to have been affected by Pirelli’s tyre change decision but it does seem to have had a bigger impact on them than most.
With four races left this season, it is still possible for Force India to salvage some pride but the latest F1 betting previews from bet365 indicates that they will need a huge upturn in fortunes if they are to get their season back on track starting with the Indian Grand Prix on 27th October.