Sahara Force India F1 Team driver Esteban Ocon believes that on an equal footing budget wise, the Silverstone based squad would shock people with the sort of performance they would truly be capable of achieving.
Force India have already secured fourth place in the constructor’s standings in 2017, despite there being one race remaining, equaling last year’s outstanding effort, but having already beaten their points tally of 173 points in 2016, with the final round still up for grabs.
It is testament to the teams’ hard working ethic and commitment, that they can achieve such a feat with almost half the staff numbers, and around a third of the budget of manufacturer teams such as Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Scuderia Ferrari.
There is a down side to punching above their weight however, with finishing so strongly meaning they will have to pay more for their 2018 entry fee by around $5000, according to Reuters, and that could go up depending on how many more points they score in Abu Dhabi.
Being financially penalised for doing better seems harsh and driver Ocon says they are currently performing miracles by extracting the kind of performance we are seeing from them on track, with their meagre bank balance, and the Frenchman feels a bit of equality would make things very interesting.
“Honestly, if everyone had the same budget I think some people would be surprised what Force India can achieve.
“At the moment with the budget we have, what we are achieving is amazing.
“The level of work we are putting in is a lot, but at the end the level is there. The performance is on-track so it would be nice.”
Having performed so well over the last couple of seasons, achieving fourth best team status is not something Force India are anticipating will be easy in 2018.
Much fiercer competition is expected to come from the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team, who have switched to Renault power next year, as well as Williams Martini Racing and the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, who will both be looking to improve on this season’s performance, and have the potential to do so in 2018.