Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2013

Missing Bahrain test a disadvantage – Force India

2014 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2013Force India admit that not participating in last month’s test at Bahrain could leave them at an early disadvantage.

Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and Toro Rosso all attended a three-day test arranged by the FIA “on safety grounds” so that tyre supplier Pirelli could advance their 2014 programme.

“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,” said Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer.

“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.”

However he said the team should benefit from the early start they made to their 2014 programme.

“We’ve had a fruitful winter, helped by the fact that we deployed all of our resources early towards developing the 2014 car,” said Szafnauer. “That may have impacted on our performance in 2013, but I think it was the right decision.”

“As a smaller team you don’t have the resources to do all the required experiments in order to give you the best solutions for some of the problems,” he added. “Sometimes we have to take a best guess ?ǣ an educated and scientific guess ?ǣ as to what the solutions should be. When you don’t have all the data, and when you are making some decisions that way, you could be right in your guesses.”

Szafnauer played down the possibility that 2014’s regulations change could be an opportunity for one of the smaller teams to spring a surprise.

“Like most things in life, having more resources usually wins. We are competing against manufacturer teams with big budgets so you would expect their well-funded research will help them find the optimal solutions.

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

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6 comments on “Missing Bahrain test a disadvantage – Force India”

  1. If FI can imagine scenarios where the Bahrain test offers advantages, imagine what they think the first REAL testing will offer.

    I think Lotus are in for a tough year, however their twitter will spin it, and I still think I was right in hoping for the Hulk not to be going to Lotus that so many others did

    1. Hulkenberg not going to Lotus was right for both parties long before either’s intentions were announced, I always thought that was clear but I think some people weren’t looking at the long-term. It could have been detrimental to move to yet another team for future moves, and one as financially unstable as Lotus were/are. Even if Lotus are better than Force India this season, I still think not going to Lotus was the right decision.

      1. agree with everything you wrote.
        Not too many with that opinion at the time though, or at least they got swamped by posts of the other conviction

      2. I wanted him to go to Lotus but time has shown me what you saw before many of us, going to FI was the right thing.

      3. Well, I think most fans’ opinions revolved around Lotus (sometimes) being a front-running team and having a driver of high enough calibre for such a team. At the time, Hulkenberg made the most sense to me (and many others); as you said, given their financial difficulties, it would probably kill Hulk’s F1 career if Lotus makes a dud of a car.

        FI was a safe bet for Hulk, and I certainly hope it pays off in the long term. This guy really needs an opportunity in a competitive car to really show his worth.

  2. Of course the others will have learned something FI do not know.. The question is how much did they learn, and how relevant the information is.. Only Pirelli truly know what tyres teams were running, and how they compare to the 2014 spec, when the tyres are finalised.

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