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Interview with Force India Technical Director Andy Green

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Interview with Force India technical director Andy Green
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5th place in the World Cup: Did you after the first day of testing in Barcelona believed in this result?

G reen: We knew that the first part of the World Cup will be tough. It was easy to talk about what we were up to. But it was a lot harder to actually do. The first half of the season caused us a lot of pain. With the modest means we have set ourselves a goal: Just stick with it, use the tires optimally, make no mistakes, benefit from the mistakes of others, use every one of our opportunities.

Was it the hardest winter of your career?

Green: Without a doubt, yes. But it showed what this team can do. It's a positive spirit that drives our team. We do not allow ourselves to be thrown off course by difficulties. We are real racers.

What was worse for the development of the car: the restrictions on cash flow or the race against time?

Green: Both went hand in hand. The tests were getting closer and closer and the car couldn't be built as quickly as ideally it should have been. We quickly decided not to go to Jerez for the first test. That wasn't a big problem. Then we had to skip the first test in Barcelona. Then the concern arose that we might not drive at all before the first race. Fortunately we barely made it. On the occasion we saw how far behind we were with the car.

Was the first part of the season maybe even the bigger achievement?

Green: Absolutely. I take my hat off to the guys on the track and the drivers. You got more out of the car than was there. We already knew from the data that our new car was a step backwards. The test drives have confirmed that. Due to the special circumstances, we simply didn't have enough development time to optimize the car for the rule changes. So we put all our energy into this B version. It was clear to us: Silverstone is all or nothing.

How did you turn things around in Silverstoneexperienced?

Green: That was our D-Day. This first training session on Friday. I haven't been as nervous as I was that day in a long time. Waiting for the first comments from the drivers was an ordeal. And then this relief. As if a thousand stones had fallen from the heart.

When did you know that the B version was a direct hit?

Green: Right after the first stint in the first training session. The drivers came back and said: this is exactly what we wanted, what we were missing. We knew then that we were on the right track. From then on, new parts were added to the car almost every race. The car got better from race to race. Abu Dhabi showed it. We achieved our best result in the last race.

If winter had been normal, would you have beaten Red Bull?

Green: Had, would, if doesn't get us any further. It would certainly have helped us in the first part of the season. But we gave away too many points in some key races. Budapest killed us. Red Bull scored 33 points, we zero. That punishes you twice. We got there quickly but had a problem with the wings. This can happen when you are operating at the limit. Next year everyone will start from scratch. We're going to give Red Bull a hard time.

You have put all your cards on the B version. How risky was that?

Green: It was risky because we developed this car for the first time in a wind tunnel, its values ​​before had not yet been correlated with the route. The data looked good. The simulator said the same thing. But none of that will help you if it doesn't hit the track. You always live in the fear that reality will say something different.

How big was the step from the A to the B version?

Green: Considerable, but not massive, in terms of total output. The new characteristics of the car brought us much more. All the problems that we had before, that were repeatedly complained about by the drivers, were blown away.

Was that?

Green: More downforce in the rear when it was needed there. More downforce at the front if needed. Much better balance. It's an all-purpose weapon because it gives drivers confidence. And then they can attack.

Then came a lot of upgrades. Were you happy with it?

Green: Every upgrade that came to the car worked as it should. AllData have been confirmed. We would have liked to have done more, but we were running out of time. That'll come next year. We have a lot more in the pipeline. The aerodynamicists are constantly finding downforce. We will stay true to our aero philosophy. The car in Melbourne next year should be a good step forward.

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