The Indian Formula One team did extremely well in the fist half of the season and was a strong contender for the fifth position in the championship but now even sixth is on the edge.
The emphasis on developing a car for next season, together with mid-season tyre change, has adversely hit the fortunes of the team this year and scoring points in Sunday's home race also looks very tough, Sahara Force India drivers said on Tuesday.
Story first published on: Tuesday, 22 October 2013 23:59
The Indian team did extremely well in the first half of the season and was a strong contender for the fifth position in the championship but now even sixth is on the edge.
The tyre change post the Silverstone blowouts hit Indian outfit the most as after that it has managed to score just three points in seven races while in previous eight they had scored 59.
"I am now better driver than what I was at the beginning but I cannot show it, because the car has slowed down. We decided to start the development very early so it slowed us down. We had many good races where we achieved the maximum. We learnt a lot. Next year hopefully should be a good year. It has to be a good one. The car has to be double good," Adrian Sutil said in an interaction.
"We have probably sacrificed the fifth position in the championships to be at least fifth next year. That how I see it," he added.
The team has one point in the last four races and Paul di Resta says things may not change in the home race.
"On paper it looks very tough. But we will work together, we came here prepared as normal. Hopefully we have successful Friday and Saturday. We need to do our job right. No mistakes, then only we can keep our (6th) position. We have to keep fighting," the Scot said.
"I think it (tyre change) has definitely affected our performance as a team more by the tyre change than most people, and both Ferrari and Lotus would be agreeing with us where we are," Di Resta added.
Sutil said the team has stopped bringing more updates but the car may not see any improvement.
"Improvement (in the car) I would say is unlikely but getting the car balance is key to success at the moment. We were trying to get things back before the Suzuka. We have an idea where to work on the car," he said.
Sutil said it was important that Indian GP remains in the F1 calender, if motorsport has to grow in the country.
"Racing is not big here. It needs time. When I look back at 30s in Europe, people use to buy cars and start racing. We have a long history, that's why we are here where we are.... technologically advanced. In India, it has just started and needs at least 10 years or 20 years to make an impact and it has potential.
"It's all about coming here every year consistently and people will pick it up. People will get more interested. If Europe can achieve it, India can too," Sutil said.
The two drivers also said they have discussed their Force India future with the team management but nothing has been finalised as yet.
The speculation is that Paul di Resta may lose his racing seat in the Indian team.
Asked about the uncertainty, the Scot said,"Not only me but everybody. It's tough. The Last few races have not been the best. Circumstances do not help drivers. The team knows what I can do. We have to say, it's tough at the moment."
There has been talk about the domination of Sebastian Vettel and the consequent boredom. However, Sutil said it needs to be looked differently.
"I think the best one will win always. I you are looking for show, then NASCAR is better. It's hard in this sport. We should have respect for the fastest. If Vettel is winning then probably he's better than everyone at the moment," he said.