Force India: Upgrades should pay off in China


Deputy team principal Bob Fernley reckons the upgrades Force India introduced at the Bahrain Grand Prix will "benefit" the team this weekend in China.

Last time out at the Sakhir circuit, Force India introduced several aerodynamic updates for the VJM09.

The team's efforts, though, were undone as both Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg got involved in opening lap clashes, sending both in to the pits for repairs.

Neither driver was able to work their way back inside the points with Hulkenberg crossing the line P15, one place ahead of his team-mate.

"We added one or two upgrades in Bahrain which may not have been perfect for there, but I'm sure will benefit us in China," Fernley explained to Autosport.

"They may not have been ideal for Bahrain, but it at least allowed us to put some mileage on them, bed them in, and I believe they will benefit the guys at the faster circuits."

The deputy team boss feels that it has been a trying start to the campaign for Force India, who to date have managed just one top-ten result.

"Bahrain was probably one of our worst races for a while," he said. "The last race we had before that which was a disaster was Hungary last year.

"In Bahrain, with those incidents, with the front wings taken out, that was it. Without a Safety Car there was no coming back from that.

"But for that, and allowing for no attrition, we were expecting to finish where we started [Hulkenberg qualified eighth].

"Maybe we might have capitalised on Williams's race pace, which wasn't very exciting, which would have moved us up a bit.

"So that's two missed opportunities we've had now unfortunately for us because in Australia we had everything working perfectly before the red flag [for Fernando Alonso's crash]."

And with the midfield expected to be closely contested throughout the championship, Fernley concedes Force India need to grab every opportunity they can.

He added: "It's going to get more and more interesting through the year as there will be different dynamics, different circuit elements.

"We'll have some days like the last two races, which have not gone in our favour.

"Once we get a bit of a run going again, with both cars finishing where we expect them, then we'll start catching up.

"For now we just have to brush ourselves down and get on with it."