Force India relishing rivals' woes

Friday 02-May-2014 10:16

Bob Fernley reckons now is the time for Force India to surge ahead in the Championship, taking advantage of Lotus and McLaren's woes.

While several big name teams have struggled at the start of F1's V6 era, Force India with their Mercedes power have made a flying start to the Championship.

With 54 points and a podium finish in Bahrain, the team is third in the Championship, two points ahead of Ferrari and 11 in front of McLaren.

And although Fernley admits Force India have been helped by issues for other teams, he hopes it will continue.

"Lotus are struggling at the minute and are not where they want to be and McLaren would be our next competitor and they're struggling too," Fernley told Autosport.

"I'm not in the slightest bit sad about that - may their problems not be too insignificant!

"It would be hard for us to compete with Red Bull and Mercedes. It's not going to be easy for us to [continue to] compete with Ferrari, but for as long as we can, we will."

The team, though, have fought - and beaten - Ferrari twice already this season when Nico Hulkenberg edged Fernando Alonso in Australia and again in Malaysia.

Fernley added: "If you look at our historical results we tend to be a bit up and down, whereas now we're absolutely consistent across the circuits.

"If you look at Ferrari, they're probably the exact opposite to us: Bahrain was an Achilles' heel for them and in China they fit in much better.

"It's just the DNA of the designs in some cases.

"If you look at Australia and Malaysia, Nico and Fernando were battling all the way through, so you get that bit in the middle as well.

"We come out of this [early part of the season] feeling quite pleased."

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