Force India: Missing Bahrain test a disadvantage

By on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Sahara Force India

Sahara Force India

Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer says that missing December's tyre test in Bahrain was a disadvantage for the team.

The FIA invited all 11 teams to the three day test in mid-December last year but only four teams took up the offer.

Force India began 2013 strongly but struggled once Pirelli tweaked the tyres mid-season.

"It's hard to know what those who tested learned, but I'm sure they learned something that we didn't learn, so in that regard we are a bit behind," he said.

"Last year, tyres were our strong point at the beginning of the season and that didn't happen by chance. I think we have the correct resources in place to be able to react to the new tyres."

Szafnauer believes that Force India is ready to benefit from their lengthy preparations for the 2014 season.

"We are competing against manufacturer teams with big budgets so you would expect their well-funded research will help them find the optimal solutions," he said regarding the new regulations.

"But you never know: we’ve been focused on 2014 for a long time and we’re pleased with the car we’ve produced so there’s always an opportunity."

Szafnauer also reckons that switching gearbox suppliers from McLaren to Mercedes will aid the team.

"Initially it's an added complication, but eventually having the engine, gearbox and the entire powertrain come from the same source will benefit us and Mercedes," he said.

"Brackley [Mercedes's base] is only seven miles away from our factory at Silverstone and that helps if changes need to be made or if there are upgrades. But the benefits are more than just logistical and the fact that the power unit and gearbox come from the same source will help. It's a better solution."

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