Force India expect to fix Hungarian GP issues after two big crashes
Team still investigating cause of Hulkenberg's front-wing failure on race day but take heart from pace despite costly no-score
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 29/07/15 8:31am
Force India are confident they will resolve the failures which triggered the spectacular crashes for Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.
The team’s drivers were unwittingly involved in the two most dramatic accidents of the incident-filled sessions at the Hungaroring with the respective VJM08s taking heavy impacts on both occasions.
In Friday practice Perez rolled his car after a right-rear suspension fault sent him spiralling into the barriers, a crash which ruled the team out of Practice Two as a precaution. Then on race day, Hulkenberg became a passenger down the circuit’s main straight when his front-wing detached itself and went under the car before the braking zone.
While Force India are still investigating the cause of Hulkenberg’s front-wing failure having rectified Friday’s suspension issue, the team’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer believes the team won’t have similar problems going forward.
“We’ll analyse it. Reliability is one of this team’s strengths so I feel confident that we’ll find the root cause and fix it and that will be the end of it,” he told Sky Sports.
“Looking forward, we will fix the issues that we had here and with good underlying pace I think for the rest of the season we can look forward to some good racing.”
With Perez also enduring a tumultuous race before retiring – the Mexican was spun round by Pastor Maldonado before dropping out with brake problems – Force India were without points after a race in which a number of their midfield rivals scored unexpectedly heavily.
The Silverstone-based outfit retained fifth in the Constructors’ Championship but both Lotus and Toro Rosso have now moved to within eight points of them, with Red Bull pulling a long way clear in fourth.
But while he acknowledges it was a blow not to score points in such a chaotic race, Szafnauer says the pace that Hulkenberg showed to run seventh before his retirement reflected well on the recently-upgraded car’s aero package.
“Usually when there’s opportunity like this we come away with good points, but not today. You can’t always have that happen for you and it’s unfortunate because I think the underlying pace of our car was pretty good,” he said.
“At a track like this where Red Bull are usually pretty good here – they won last year – for us to be fighting with Ricciardo for a bit and then holding Kvyat back bodes well for the aerodynamic development we’ve made.
“But at the same time you’ve got to finish to get those points, so we were unable to do that.”
Don’t miss the F1 Midweek Report for all the analysis of the Hungarian GP. Reuters F1 correspondent Alan Baldwin and The Daily Telegraph’s Daniel Johnson join Natalie Pinkham in the studio. Catch it at 8:30pm on Wednesday July 29 on Sky Sports F1.