The B-specification car Force India raced during the second half of 2015 is a good foundation for its 2016 car, according to its German driver Nico Hulkenberg.
The VJM08 saw major developments from the British Grand Prix onwards last season, and the team were rewarded with their best ever season where they clinched fifth place in the constructors championship for the first time, with Sergio Perez even claiming a podium finish in the Russian Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg believes the stability in the rules for 2016 should enable Force India to be able to continue their strong form into this season, although he understands the form book from last year means little with every team developing new cars and new ideas.
“If you look at all the different tracks, the different tyre compounds, whatever, with the B-spec we are more or less in a position where we can score good points on every track on any day, and that is good,” said Hulkenberg to Autosport.
“We have built a really good solid foundation to put us in a good position, and now it is our job to keep working at it and to build on that. That is crucial if we are to straight away be competitive at the first race.
“Obviously it’s really difficult to predict what we’re capable of. Impossible. But that will be seen when we roll out the car for winter testing and the first races.
“Obviously we target on improving and to close the gap to the front, that is definitely what we are after, what we want and what everybody is pushing for. But it doesn’t come to you. You have to go get it and find it, so that’s our work now.”
Despite his confidence, Hulkenberg knows the team cannot afford to rest on its laurels, with the world of Formula 1 a never-ending development race that has a history of being tough on teams and competitors.
“Of course, there is more that can be done and that has to be done,” added Hulkenberg. “Obviously we compete against the other teams every couple of weeks, and now we have seen there are more competitive cars out there.
“With regards to our car there is more room for improvement, and that is what we are doing, what we are working at. If it is mechanical grip, aero, that is Formula 1. You can never stand still. If you do, that is basically going backwards.
“So we are always working, looking for what we can improve, what we can do, what we have to do.”