Formula 1

Force India Turned Down Approaches from Rivals for Key Personnel – Szafnauer

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Force India had approaches from their rivals for key personnel over the winter
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Otmar Szafnauer, the chief operating officer of the Sahara Force India F1 Team, has revealed the team were approached by some of their rivals over the availability of some of their key personnel, only to be rebuffed.

The team has finished fourth in the Constructors’ Championship for the past two seasons despite having a limited budget compared to the majority of their rivals, and some of the employees were headhunted by teams up and down the grid, but instead of letting them go, Szafnauer has revealed they have actually increased their workforce ahead of the 2018 season.

Retaining those key employees, and the two drivers – Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon – will be a big positive to the team as they ready themselves to reveal their 2018 challenger ahead of pre-season testing at the end of the month.

“We’ve had bigger and smaller teams approach us and try to usurp some of our key personnel,” said Szafnauer to RACER. “But I’m happy to report that going into the new season we’ll have the same and we’ve added a few in some key areas as well.

“There’s always potential in every team – that’s how this business works. The better you do the more others will look at how you’re doing it and try to emulate or usurp some of your key employees.

“We have made a few small changes on the track engineering side. We’ve bolstered our CFD capabilities as well, but I think most importantly the longer we have a stable team the more some of those weaknesses go away naturally because we retain our knowledge and we build on our success of years past. We don’t lose our knowledge of how we got there and we build on that to become better.

“So I think one of the keys to our success is stability in key personnel, and we’ve been able to have a pretty uninterrupted winter from a personnel perspective. That includes drivers.”

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