Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer has praised his team for the “remarkable” development rate it was able to show in the first year of new regulations last season.
Having secured a best-ever constructors’ championship finish of fourth place in 2016, Force India retained that spot with ease as it beat the previous year’s tally and outscored fifth-placed Williams by 104 points. The team’s consistency came despite the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations that made the cars significantly different last season, and Szafnauer highlights Force India’s ability to not lose ground to the top three during the year as worthy of note.
“The season was fabulous, I don’t think we could have hoped for anything more,” Szafnauer said. “Especially in a year when the rules changes were as big as they were – probably the biggest rule change in the last 15 or so years in Formula 1 – and for a small team to take on those changes and perform like we’ve performed I think is a tremendous accolade for everybody that works for us.
“I think the biggest thing is the fact that we were able to continue developing at the same rate as some of the big guys. That was something that was remarkable. We’ve got to thank everybody at the factory because that’s where the real development work happens. [At the track] we showcase it.”
Although the team only scored 14 points more in 2017 than the previous season in matching its finishing position of the year before, technical director Andy Green sees last year’s performance as Force India’s greatest achievement.
“It was an absolutely outstanding job by the team to do what we did,” Green added. “It trumps , just by nature of the fact that it was a completely new set of regulations. For a team of our size to do that – to come out and take fourth – is a real credit and a massive achievement.”