Force India looking to put Red Bull in sight

Date published: May 9 2017 - Editor

Force India team boss Bob Fernley is hoping the Spanish Grand Prix can establish a base for the team to test themselves against bigger opponents.

Force India have finished with both drivers in the points in all four races so far this season and are 26 points behind third-placed Red Bull in the World Constructors' Championship.

And Fernley is hoping that the new upgrades they are bringing to the Circuit de Catalunya will help Force India to narrow the gap.

"If everything works to plan from Barcelona, that's where we can reassess it," Fernley told Autosport.

"We mustn't forget the other teams are not standing still either, so we need to just be cautious on that.

"The first objective is to make sure we can consolidate the fourth place, and deliver that. Then if we can from a performance point of view keep moving it through, it will be ideal.

"It's been quite a tremendous run for four races. Hopefully in Barcelona we can bolt on that missing performance and then we can go toe-to-toe with the others."

Fernley also heaped praise on Ocon for the way he has implemented himself within the team.

He added: "[Ocon] is doing a super job. He's still learning when it comes to the qualifying and going through the first part of the weekend.

"What is super is the maturity that he shows in the first part of the race. And that's been there from the start – he's a remarkable racer.

"From our point of view that's where we gain the points, and we can help him with the other bits. Sochi was the first weekend when he got into Q3, and he's been the in the points in four races.

"It doesn't get an awful lot better than that for a team where we are. I think by the time we get to Silverstone we will see both drivers absolutely pushing hard, and from our side it will be very exciting.

"If we can just get that performance deficit dealt with, I think it could be an incredibly exciting second half of the season."