With F1 teams having to divide their budget between this season and preparing their car for next year, Force India has decided to get the most out of their current package while focusing a majority of resources on 2017.
Ever since the team introduced their latest big upgrade in Spain last month, they’ve been on the podium twice in the last three races thanks to Sergio Perez. This type of success could help them focus better on the future while trusting that their current package is sufficiently competitive.
“Like everybody, the swichover will have already started but I don’t see us putting an awful lot more effort into this car,” said deputy team principal Bob Fernley in an interview with Autosport. “The opportunity for next year is a complete new set of rules and a great chance for an incredibly good design team we have. You certainly don’t want to give up the opportunity to start with a clean sheet next year.”
If they manage to squeeze even more performance out of what they’re currently racing with, perhaps 4th place in the Constructors standings could become a possibility, especially considering how inconsistent Williams have looked on certain tracks.
Though according to Fernley, the team’s goal remains simply “to secure fifth” in the standings, which means being behind Williams but staying ahead of Toro Rosso – which have been struggling themselves lately.
“Toro Rosso are a strong team, so we’ve got to keep ourselves honest in that sense. Fifth is where we need to be. If we can get an edge on Williams we will go for it, but as long as we hold fifth it’s a good season,” concluded the Force India exec.
Last year, the team did finish fifth with 136 points, 51 shy of Red Bull and 58 clear of Lotus.