Force India need to up the pace

Sunday 23-March-2014 06:41

Deputy team principal Bob Fernley says Force India had hoped for better in Melbourne after finishing a distant sixth and tenth.

Nico Hulkenberg netted the team's first points of the Championship when he brought his VJM07 home in sixth place, the German though was 51 seconds behind race winner Nico Rosberg.

His team-mate Sergio Perez added an additional point to Force India's tally with his tenth-place result.

But while happy with a double points-haul, Fernley admits the team had expected more.

Calling the performance "acceptable but not exceptional", he went on to tell Autosport that it "was good, but probably not quite as good as we would like it to be.

"We didn't quite have the race pace as we would have liked, so we have got a bit of work to do.

"We have just got to focus now on making sure we do a little bit of work on the performance side.

"We have got reliability, which is good, and which is across the board with the Mercedes-powered cars, so we've got to inch ourselves up and make sure we are fighting with McLaren and Williams."

In a season that is likely to be won in a development war, Fernley revealed that Force India will be bringing minor updates to the next race in Malaysia.

Asked what if any gains could be made with the engine, he said: "It's marginal now.

"With the mileage that we did in pre-season, what happened in the race didn't deviate from what we thought we would do.

"We have a little bit coming [for Malaysia] but we will just go full speed with developments.

"Truth be told, we were expecting the aero war to start in Europe, but now I think it's going to come forward."

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