Force India were ‘one upgrade behind’ in 2018

Date published: December 16 2018

Otmar Szafnauer has revealed that last season, Racing Point Force India were left a full upgrade behind their rivals.

This was down to the financial situation, as they went into administration in July before being saved during the summer break.

The team, which will now be Racing Point F1 for the 2019 season, was back up and running for the Belgian GP, after being bought out by a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll.

“It was a season where eventually our performance was pretty good,” team principal Szafnauer said.

“It started off slow because of our financial lows.

“Then the administration process was also disruptive, as you can imagine, and full of anxiety and uncertainty.”

A lack of funds led to a lack of upgrades and new parts. Whilst the rest of the field brought upgrades to Spa, the pink panthers had only just reopened its gates.

“We brought an upgrade to Singapore, which worked well,” the American added.

“But that upgrade should have been on the car around Spa, if not Hungary.

“[If so, it] probably would have allowed another upgrade to come in Singapore.

“So we were like one upgrade behind. But it is what it is.”

The administration period, and then the change of name, led to the team being excluded from the Constructors’ Championship and losing its 59 points from the first half of the season.

Despite this, the Racing Point Force India team managed to recover to P7 in the standings, after bringing home 52 points in the last nine races of the season.

If both sets of points were added together, they would have finished ahead of Haas in P5, after P4 finishes in both 2016 and 2017.

“We’ve settled down and hope to continue next year where we ended this year, in a pretty good place,” Szafnauer said about their prospects.

“We had a great weekend at Spa, we had good weekends thereafter.

“We kind of underperformed in Singapore, we should have scored strong points there, but sometimes that happens.

“[Then] we had a strong end of the season. That’s why I hope the beginning of next season it will be as strong.”

There is a change to the Racing Point F1 driver line-up for 2019, as (unsurprisingly) Lance Stroll comes in to partner Sergio Perez.

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