Force India team photograph, 2017

Szafneur praises Force India after securing fourth place

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Force India are celebrating securing fourth place in the constructors’ championship for the second consecutive season after a double points finish in Mexico.

A fifth place finish for Esteban Ocon and seventh for Sergio Perez confirmed that Force India would end the season fourth in the standings behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull for the second year in succession.

The team’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer says his team’s innovation has enabled them to perform at a high level despite their relative lack of financial clout.

“I think we have the smallest budget of anybody in Formula One and that forced us to do things differently and look at things differently to some of the others,” says Szafnauer.

“It’s not easy and I think next year will be even more difficult, so I’m grateful to everybody at Silverstone, where most of the work happens. I have to thank the entire team. They’ve done a fabulous job this year, especially to keep on developing the car like we have until the end.”

Asked if the result meant the team would lift the restrictions on racing between Ocon and Perez following high profile collisions involving the two this season, Szafnauer said the two would be free to race.

“They’re now racing freely,” says Szafnauer. “If they do happen to come into contact it’s less detrimental. But car parts aren’t free, so there’s still risk.”

2017 Mexican Grand Prix

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Esteban Ocon

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 10 comments on “Szafneur praises Force India after securing fourth place”

    1. Force India have done better and better each year, so well done to them. With Renault and McLaren aiming for the top again, this is sadly quite probably the peak for them.

      1. Well, I didn’t think they would be able to repeat 4th this year @strontium, so I guess they might surprise us and do it again next year. Great job from the team.

        I do agree that one would expect both Renault and McLaren to close in and go for 4th themselves next year though.

    2. I really appreciate what Force India has been able to do with their limited budget. A team like this always more fun for me to support than a team like Toyota, for example, with nearly unlimited resources yet very limited results.

      FI has two very talented, hungry drivers who really want to win. I hope the team is able to keep up this level of performance in the future. The field just behind the top 3 looks to be very competitive next season. Best wishes for FI.

    3. Congrats! But really forth place was secure even before USGP. The gap to Toro Rosso, Renault and Williams was too big. We should be watching four bloody rivalry races instead of two remaining races.
      But maybe that’s how FI manage to kept their spirit high. To get 100 points ahead of their rival who would never get near 100 points. I was worried about FI leadership before but it was done nicely.

    4. They’re a good, well-run team, nice driver line-up and lots of visible sponsorship on the car, which you can’t say about many teams these days. But slightly skeptical of the “think we have the smallest budget of anybody in Formula 1” claim.

    5. Szafnauer + Vasseur = Szafneur ??

    6. For the past two seasons, Force India has certainly been impressive. Reminds me of their previous “glory days” as Jordan in 1998 and especially in 1999.

    7. Congratulation to Force India! I just hope they could get more sponsor money and use it to put more pressure on the top 3.

    8. I think a big part of their success has been not compromising on drivers. It maintains consistency and clarity in understanding car performance and development, while maximizing the conversion of budget into points. Certainly they have been helped in the past two years by McLaren and Renault under-performing. But if you compare them to Williams and to a lesser degree Sauber, the biggest difference has been driver quality.

      Williams especially needs to secure a quality wheelman for next year. McLaren is going to be much better with a real engine, and Renault is probably going to take another step forward as well.

    9. Congratulations to Force India!
      But I don’t know whether to be sad or happy since it will be very difficult to maintain 4th position with the likes of McLaren and Renault getting into the mix.

    Comments are closed.