SPA, Belgium, August 22nd, 2013 (F1plus/B. Dixon).- Starting the season as the surprise package meant there was a great deal of optimism surrounding Force India. A fourth place for Paul di Resta in Bahrain having narrowly missed out on a podium appearance was a particular high point and they found themselves, perhaps slightly unexpectedly, competing against McLaren in the race for the constructors title, and winning.
Their shining start has slightly dissipated over the course of the season as a result of being plagued by reliability problems as seen in Hungary, when hydraulics issues affected both cars over the course of the weekend.
Adrian Sutil recognizes the need for the team to overcome these issues.
“Our reliability was not so great this year, we had some issues. I think the second half of the season now we shouldn't do those mistakes any more. Our reliability needs to be sorted out for the races and try to go for as much points as possible.” Sutil said.
Despite concerns over reliability, he remains optimistic about the second half of the season believing that the next circuits on the calendar are more suited to both, himself and the team.
“I feel happy, I feel relaxed, I am a confident person. The second part of the season is a bit nicer in general for me with circuits I like more like those coming up now: Spa, Monza, Singapore, Japan.
There are so many nice circuits and they suit me well so I am confident we can score many more points.”
“The last few races, Germany, Hungary were not good for us anyway. The car is not so quick there and here the circuit is better and there are plenty of opportunities for us to come back and see what we can do. I think n the top six, top eight. That's what I expect for our car.” The German added.
A place on the podium is not entirely out of the question for the team if their remarkable second position at Spa in 2009 is any indication.
“Everything is possible, you never know what happens. Here, in Spa, why not? The car can be fast. Two years ago in 2009, suddenly the car was on pole position. No one expected that. I have an open mind always. If there is a chance to win the race for me, I am ready.” He concluded.
With the gap between themselves and McLaren in the Constructor's Championship standing at only two points, Force India will need to return to the form shown at the beginning of the season in order to keep ahead.
Paul di Resta has made it a theme of the season so far to make outstanding progress through the field to make up places during the race, but coupling this with improved qualifying performances would help increase the gap as would Sutil's optimism bearing some fruit.