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Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley says that the team still needs to optimise its upgrade package before the full potential of the VJM05 is shown.
Nico Hulkenberg finished tenth in the Spanish Grand Prix while Paul di Resta was 14th, and with both Williams and Sauber scoring solid points Force India finds itself a fairly distant eighth place in the constructors' championship. Despite the solitary point, Fernley still believes that the upgrade worked for the team and would have put it comfortably in the top ten if it had found the final bits of potential performance.
"From our point of view our upgrade has gone in successfully," Fernley told the official Force India website. "I think we've still got a little bit more engineering to be able to optimise it. Two to three tenths of optimisation would have put us fifth, and don't forget it was the first time we've run it…."
Despite the surprise Williams victory in Barcelona, Fernley still believes that Force India will score points more consistently throughout the season.
"We've seen a situation with Sauber in Malaysia where they came second and perhaps had the possibility of a victory. Williams were quite strong in Australia. Both have tailed off a bit and then Williams came back exceptionally strongly in Barcelona. Is it peaks and troughs, or is it consistency? At the moment I'm not discouraged because I think Sahara Force India and Lotus are probably the two most consistent teams. We're not at the front, but we're there and thereabouts all the time. I think we'd be more disconcerted if Williams continued to deliver. They have a jolly good car and we've always said the competition is incredible, and we've just got to dig deep and move forward."
Fernley also took Pastor Maldonado's win as encouragement that Force India is close to scoring some impressive results itself.
"Two to three tenths in qualifying is the difference between fifth and 13th. That's how tight it is. I think we've got to be pleased with what we achieved, it's not enough, but it's certainly closed the gap. As we've always said, the quality of the field is amazing around us, and it's not going to be easy for anybody."