F orce India started the new season well behind . Technology boss Andy Green confirmed in Shanghai that the VJM12 had a fundamental problem with aerodynamics. The tail does not produce the downforce promised by the CFD simulations and the wind tunnel. This has a number of negative consequences: Without a stable rear, the new front wing is also useless. The car would then get too much out of balance.
Force India problem cannot be resolved quickly
'The front wing did what it should,' the engineer explained after the Test in Bahrain. “But we won't be able to use him before the weekend in Spain. We first need more downforce in the rear. ”After comparing the diffuser, the rear wing and the baffles as the cause of the problem, Force India is currently concentrating primarily on alleviating the symptoms.
Obviously with success: After a disappointing performance at the season opener in Australia, there was already a small ray of hope with the first World Cup point in Bahrain. The upward trend continued in Shanghai. Sergio Perez easily made it into the final knockout round in qualifying. The Mexican starts from eighth place on Sunday with good prospects.
Ocon misses the jump into the top ten
With teammate Esteban Ocon, on the other hand, didn't do that well: “We had some problem with the drive. I lost a lot of speed on the straight. We have to analyze that now, ”complained the Frenchman. According to the pilot's estimate, this cost about a tenth. “In addition, I have another mistake in the target cornermade. Somehow there wasn't as much grip as I expected. Without those two things, I would have easily made it into the top ten. ”
Having started 12th on the grid, Ocon has by no means given up hope for points:“ I can put on fresh tires at the start and free the mix choose. The strategy could be a huge advantage here. If I had had the choice, I would like to swap the tires for a better starting position. ”
Perez relies on the experience factor
Both drivers see the Shanghai performance as a step in the right direction. 'We have closed the gap to the competition in midfield,' said Perez with satisfaction. “The basic problem with balance is still there, but we're making progress. The gaps in midfield are very close. Every tenth counts. ”
In addition to the technology, the performance of the pilots must also be right. Perez was very satisfied with his Q3 lap, which was not even two tenths away from Nico Hulkenberg. Perez's former teammate is at the top of the midfield in 7th place. 'In the cool and windy conditions, the driver was able to make a real difference on the track today', Perez praised himself.
For the race on Sunday, the Mexican is hoping for more than just the first points of the season: “I would be disappointed if I can't hold the position. My goal is to be the best driver behind the top three teams. The race will be very tough though. I expect completely different conditions than in training. I think my experience will help me. ”