Force India eye steady finish

Vijay Mallya's side have hit a standstill since mid-season testing
Last Updated 22 October 2013, 17:39 IST

 In seasons prior to this one, Force India have been late to bloom but when they did, they went all out and added up points in a hurry.

This year, however, the exact opposite has been true and the reason behind it has mostly been a mystery until Adrian Sutil and his team-mate Paul di Resta opened up during a media interaction in New Delhi ahead of the third edition of the Indian Grand Prix.

Vijay Mallya’s team raked in points at the beginning of the season but post mid-season testing, they have slipped up, adding just one point from the last four races. Sauber, who were way behind on the championship table up until the Barcelona tests, have steadily climbed their way up and now are within 17 points of replacing Force India at the sixth position.

Force India, who finished seventh behind Sauber in 2012, would not enjoy the feeling of deja vu, but going by what the their drivers’ have to say, there is little they can do about it.

“We started the development of our car next season far too early, so it slowed us down. We probably sacrificed the fifth position this year to be at least fifth next season,” said Sutil on Tuesday.

Di Resta seconded his German team-mate’s honest assessment of the situation Force India find themselves in: “The last few races have been bad for us. We stopped working on the 2013 car long ago while other teams are still bringing in updates. It will be difficult for us to score points but we will try to as much as we can. Our aim will be to set up the car in the right way so that it has the right balance.”

Perhaps since Force India had found themselves in that situation exactly a year ago when they arrived at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, Sutil opted for an optimistic view, insisting that it would be hard for Sauber to catch up with them.

“We are 17 points ahead of Sauber and it will be a realistic target to maintain the sixth place. For a mid-placed team, gaining 17 points is not easy. They are behind us and will be doing the catch up act. Anyway, we have to drive perfectly in the last four races,” he noted.

(Published 22 October 2013, 17:39 IST)

Follow us on