Force India heads to Monaco in good spirits, with the compact Silverstone-squad now seventh in the constructors’ standings – Sergio Pérez’s podium in Azerbaijan enabling a 15-point tally boost.

… the rostrum visit made Pérez the record holder for podiums for a Mexican driver in F1, one more than 2-time Grand Prix winner Pedro Rodriguez. It was also the team’s first since 2016, and its sixth overall since 2008.

And it again proves the privateer outfit continues to deliver performance on a shoestring budget, millions less than its closest rival.

Force India reportedly operated on just 97 million British pounds last year, which is 13 million less than Toro Rosso, 53 million less than Renault, and a whopping 253 million less than biggest spender Ferrari.

It’s a huge source of pride for the intrepid team, especially in the hybrid era with spending mostly leading to success.

“I read an article this morning that Cyril Abiteboul of Renault said that poor teams such as Force India were going to suffer in this arms race; well good luck to him, he might have to eat his words, it's not the amount of arms you have it's the quality of your weaponry."

But its windtunnel correlation issues, which were previously understood to be solved, are still ongoing – a nightmare for a small team that can’t afford to manufacture parts that don’t provide a benefit.

"We're not quite there yet. We've not addressed all the correlation issues that we had in Melbourne, but we're on the way to it,” said deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

Barcelona was a challenging weekend for the team, with Pérez avoiding the Turn 3 carnage but dropping back in the melee, before rising to ninth for two points. His teammate Esteban Ocon, though, retired after he lost power on Lap 40 – for his second-straight DNF.

Seventh place in the constructors’ may be a small win for Force India after a tough start, but fourth is still possible if the squad can sort its issues. The next few races will be crucial for the minnow team.