Force India believes early collisions at the Bahrain Grand Prix masked the outfit's true pace, as it slipped to its worst race classification for several years.
Nico Hulkenberg started from eighth position but damaged his front wing at Turn 1 and was forced to pit at the end of the lap, scuppering his strategy en-route to a lowly 15th place.
Sergio Perez gained six places at the start but hit Carlos Sainz Jr. on the second lap and also had to pit, suffering a similar predicament to Hulkenberg as he took 16th.
"I made a poor start away from the line and was on the back foot going into Turn 1," said Hulkenberg.
"Then suddenly three or four cars backed up on the apex and I nudged the back of somebody, which damaged my front wing and forced me to pit on lap one.
"From there onwards we tried to recover and pull off a two-stop strategy to get back in the race, but it proved very difficult.
"I was always in traffic and involved in lots of fights so my tyre degradation was very high. I don’t think we’ve seen our true pace because the first lap destroyed my race and we were out of sync with everybody and always playing catch up."
"It was a real shame as the pace was there to score a good amount of points," added Perez.
"We haven’t been very lucky in the first two races, even though our pace has been good, so I’m sure things will turn in our favour soon."