F1 team preview: Force India should do better in Hungary
The Hungarian Grand Prix will mark the official debut of the new Pirelli tyres and come this weekend, we’ll get to see how much impact the new offering from the Italian manufacturer will have on the remainder of the season. All teams, except for Mercedes, were able to test the new tyres and the feedbacks have been generally positive.
Force India have been quite consistent this season and as a result, they are comfortably sitting at a respectable fifth place in the Constructors’ Championship table with 59 points, ten points ahead of a severely under-performing McLaren. The VJM06 has shown good pace both in the qualifying sessions and also in the races, indicating the hard work the Force India engineers and mechanics have been doing behind the scene. With the new upgrades, coupled with the seemingly better new tyres, the car can still continue to surprise everyone with its raw pace.
It’s not only the car which has shown improvements this season; the Force India drivers too have performed better and have shown more maturity, with Paul di Resta being the more consistent of the two. All in all, Force India have looked a much better outfit. After having come close to a podium finish on two occasions, the team have clearly set their sights on their first podium finish of the season and this weekend’s race in Hungaroring may prove to be the right place to grab one.
Realistically speaking though, Hungaroring has not been a happy hunting ground for the Silverstone based outfit, with Paul di Resta’s seventh place finish in 2011 being the only top ten finish in Hungary. But it may all change this weekend if the team manages to put up a stellar performance, which is quite possible.
First of all, smart utilisation the Free Practice sessions to fine tune the car is a must. A good qualifying session is extremely important if Force India are to compete against the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari. Using the data gathered during these sessions and keeping a track of how other teams perform, a good car set up for the qualifying on Saturday can give the team a good start. A third row start will be perfect, but a fourth row start won’t be bad either.
After all the pre-race formalities, comes the most important part, the race itself. All good things achieved in the previous two days will be of no use if the team don’t put up a good show on raceday. Force India need to come up with a better and more effective pit stop strategy if they are to fight for a podium finish.
The last thing they want is a repeat of the mistake they made in Germany, where both their cars lost considerable speed towards the end of the race which ultimately robbed them of valuable points. The Hungaroring race will consist of 70 laps which means a three stop strategy can be expected. The track will provide a fair amount of overtaking opportunities, promising an exciting race.
Better pit stops, avoiding crashes, a good car set up and a good qualifying and Force India may very well get their first podium of the season.