[F1 2018 VIDEO FEATURE] FORCE INDIA: BUDGET PERFORMANCE

Australia was a difficult race for Force India, with Albert Park the first time it failed to score a point since Monaco last year. Sergio Pérez finishing in 11th place, Esteban Ocon 12th.

But, while the compact Silverstone squad was expected to fall down F1’s pecking order this year given the rise of its midfield rivals… 

Haas’ shock double retirement flattered its results in Melbourne – while a big update package masked its true pace, with few spares available and a new front wing coming for Bahrain this weekend.

SOUNDBITE (English) ESTEBAN OCON,
F1 DRIVER, FORCE INDIA:
“Any parts we have, we have to be careful to not break it. Or do [any] stupid mistake because we need to score points, that’s how the team will go quicker by the time, by having the money as well.”

In the all-important teammate battle, Pérez took first blood in Melbourne – out-qualifying Ocon by more than seven tenths of a second, and beating him home in the race by more than 13-seconds.

But Pérez feels it’s a pattern that may continue with the Mexican good at managing tyres, which he will need to do with Pirelli’s range going one step softer this year to encourage more pit stops.

SOUNDBITE (English) SERGIO PÉREZ,
F1 DRIVER, FORCE INDIA:
“I think this year is going to be more looking after the tyres with hotter tracks, etcetera. I think probably we might have more of a tyre issue. Also the tyres are new so plenty of things to learn about the tyres. So hopefully it can be a good advantage for me.”

Ocon, though, knows he must up his game against Pérez… if he’s to one day race a works Mercedes. But it’s head down for now.

SOUNDBITE (English) ESTEBAN OCON,
F1 DRIVER, FORCE INDIA:
“I’m a Mercedes driver. So I’m part of the program, and part of the development since 2015, end of 2015, so of course it would be the logical way. But I’m totally dedicated to Force India at the moment and if you do the talk on track there will be always plenty of opportunities.”