[F1 2018 VIDEO FEATURE] FORCE INDIA: COMEBACK PLANS

Force India is suffering its worst start to a season since 2009 – its second year in the sport, when its driver line-up at launch featured a mix of youth and experience in Adrian Sutil, and Giancarlo Fisichella.

… and former F1 winner-turned-pundit David Coulthard predicted it would be a standout campaign for the team.

SOUNDBITE (English) VIJAY MALLYA,
TEAM PRINCIPAL, FORCE INDIA:
“Force India perhaps is going to be shock team, for 2009. Well, I would like to thank David [Coulthard], for that optimism. I share that optimism incidentally.”

But, Force India will be hoping for a comeback like 2009 – with that year’s Belgian Grand Prix the team’s best-ever weekend with Fisichella on pole, and second in the race. A potential win scuppered by the safety car. 

But in 2018, Force India has just one point, care of Esteban Ocon in Bahrain, compared with the 17 it scored after three races last year. But the squad knows it’s capable of more, despite the midfield now a far tighter fight.

SOUNDBITE (English) ESTEBAN OCON,
F1 DRIVER, FORCE INDIA:
“What we [were] doing was an awesome achievement, the past year, fourth in the championship. We destroyed the ones behind last year. We need to keep going.”

Force India brought a major upgrade to the car in Melbourne, as well as a new front wing to Bahrain. But wind tunnel correlation issues meant the performance on track wasn’t as the team expected… 

And while it’s a problem that has since been sorted, Force India now needs to catch up on lost development to up its pace against rivals McLaren and Renault. The hope is there, though, that it can return to the head of the midfield… 

SOUNDBITE (English) SERGIO PÉREZ,
F1 DRIVER, FORCE INDIA:
“I always say that it doesn’t really matter where you start in Melbourne, it’s where you finish in Abu Dhabi. It’s a long season. So plenty of hope. Plenty of opportunities this year. And I believe that good things are coming up.”