Sahara Force India F1 Team will introduce a new front wing this weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix. confirms the team’s Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer.
The Silverstone based team started the 2018 Formula 1 Season narrowly missing out on a points finish, with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finishing eleventh and twelfth respectfully.
This is first time Force India finished outside of the points since the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
Reflecting on the race down under, Otmar Szafnauer says overtaking around Albert Park is difficult, which prevented from Perez reaching Renault Sport F1 Team‘s Carlos Sainz Jr. for a point finish.
“Melbourne is always a peculiar race. We came within a whisker of scoring a point with Sergio having caught Carlos Sainz, but overtaking was especially difficult at Albert Park and tenth place remained out of reach” said Szafnauer
“The race pace was stronger than our qualifying speed, but without track position we couldn’t really show our true performance. Esteban’s front wing picked up some debris early in the race as well which compromised his pace, especially in the second stint.”
Ahead of this weekend’s action at the Bahrain International Circuit, the team will be looking to get back into contention with their latest update on the front wing.
Snafnauer also states there is a lot of potential for future development on the VJM11 within the first quarter of the season.
“It’s business as usual in terms of developing the car. We’ve got a new front wing coming for Bahrain, which will complement the upgrades we introduced in Melbourne.” Szafnauer continued.
“The car we have now is totally different from the spec we used during testing and we’re still on a learning curve.
“There is huge development potential with this new aerodynamic platform and we have things in the pipeline, which will bring performance steps in the first quarter of the season.”
The midfield for the 2018 is widely spread out, meaning for Force India holding onto fourth place will be a task as Snafnauer says it’ll be a fight to hold onto that vital position.
“Testing showed us that the midfield has closed up considerably, so there were no big shocks in Melbourne.”
“I think the points will be spread among the teams more evenly this year and retaining fourth place is going to be a big task.
“But we’ve only had one race and things can change very quickly in Formula One. The development race is only just beginning and it’s where you end the season that counts.
“Last year we out-developed the teams around us and we have to do the same this year. Our goal is to defend our fourth place and we will be fighting hard to get back up there.”