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Shanghai result a boost for Force India

Wednesday 23-April-2014 15:35

After both drivers finished in the points at the Chinese Grand Prix, Force India are happy with their performance at the Shanghai circuit.

Although a sixth and ninth place at the track seemed like a step backwards after their podium finish in Bahrain, Deputy Team Principal Bob Fernley believes it is a satisfactory haul at a track that doesn't suit them at all.

"This is probably as encouraging a result as Bahrain was an elation for us, because this is not one of our top-performing circuits - it has been one of our Achilles' heel ones," Fernley told Autosport.

"We've struggled here throughout the years, so to deliver the level of performance we've done, and we've been fundamentally finishing in the top six in all four races, at four completely different circuits, is encouraging."

In Shanghai, Bahrain podium finisher Sergio Perez suffered a brake problem during qualifying and battled through the field to a credible ninth place, while Nico Hulkenberg struggled with understeer throughout the race but finished in sixth place nonetheless.

With those problems in mind, Fernley believes the drivers coped well with the challenges the track posed them.

"It's a very front-limited circuit and it just doesn't quite fit in to the way we operate the car," Fernley added.

"This circuit is very specific in being a challenge to us, whereas Bahrain is exactly the opposite.

"So you're talking two ends of the spectrum: one suits the car really well and other doesn't fit for us. And everything else fits between them.

"We'll still have a couple that are more Bahrain-like, and some that are more China-like, but overall everything else fits between those.

"This means that at our best circuits we are podium potential and at our worst circuits we're looking at being top six, and that is the consistency we need to put on a strong challenge from a constructors' point of view."

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