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Force India 'better off' than expected

ESPNF1 Staff
April 26, 2012 « HRT to miss Mugello test | Ricciardo still hurt by Bahrain start »
Paul di Resta's sixth place in Bahrain moved Force India to within 14 points of Sauber © Sutton Images

Force India is in a better position than it expected to be at this point of the season as it prepares to update its car, according to deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

As a result of a highly competitive battle with Renault (now Lotus) for fifth place in the constructors' championship last season, development on the new Force India was slightly behind schedule throughout the winter. The team launched a solid all-round car during pre-season with a major upgrade planned for the Mugello test next week, and Fernley admitted that it is in a better place than expected.

"Our plan heading into the first four races was to use good race craft and good strategy with a car that perhaps wasn't where we wanted it to be," Fernley is quoted by Sky Sports. "And I think we delivered on that quite well, with only the one bad result in Shanghai. We're probably better off than we thought in some ways, but we still have to deliver the next bit.

"Of course, we've some wonderful teams around us who are not sitting still either, so it depends on what they deliver and whether we can close the gap. As to whether we've given ourselves a platform now, and with the package to come, hopefully the answer is yes."

Having finished sixth in Bahrain, Paul di Resta is hoping that Force India finds some more performance to help it move ahead of Sauber after Sergio Perez scored major points with second place in Malaysia.

"After what Sauber did in Malaysia, it (sixth in Bahrain) keeps them in our sights," di Resta said. "If we now put performance on this car then we can get by them. We always knew maintaining sixth place this year was going to be difficult. But we'll keep on track, picking up the points we're doing, and being realistic about it, if we can get results like the one in Bahrain then they are like wins to us as a midfield team. So we've got to be happy and hopeful the upgrade we're going to bolt on the car keeps us in this position going into Barcelona."