Can Force India Move Into the Next Tier of Formula One Teams?

By Michael Guzman
Paul di Resta
Jerome Miron-USA Today Sports

Force India is a team certainly worth watching in Formula One. The team is relatively new to the Formula One landscape and yet has found success over the last few years, especially in 2012 with driver Nico Hulkenberg and rookie Paul di Resta.

For 2013, the team has regressed a bit in terms of engineering and certainly in the consistency department, although they will likely be even more competitive since Adrian Sutil rejoined the team, and the reintroduction of turbocharged engines could see the balance of power in Formula One shift.

Force India is on the cusp of being an elite team, and may do so in upcoming years.

2013 has proven to be more up and down for the crew, with the best finish for di Resta being a fourth-place finish at Bahrain and Sutil’s fifth-place finish being his best at Monaco. However, the team was bitten by wheel nut issues at Sepang and has had a total of five DNF’s this year between the two drivers.

Currently, Force India is fifth in the constructor’s title, with McLaren Mercedes closing in. A large reason for this is that Pirelli changed its compound after the disastrous Silverstone race, and Force India has simply not been able to adjust as well as other teams. Since the change, neither driver has made it to the third qualifying session or finished in the points.

Looking forward, this midseason break could not come at a better time. Force India should be able to focus on eliminating their inconsistencies while adjusting to Pirelli’s new compound, which looks like it will be here to stay for the remainder of the 2013 season.

It should also be noted that Force India will hopefully begin expansion on its facility shortly, and the technical advantage could be significant. One of the changes which will be implemented is the addition of a 60 percent scale wind tunnel.

So for the future, Force India’s expectations can continue to be aimed skyward. But for the present, McLaren Mercedes is a very viable threat to take the fifth position in the constructor’s standings. If Force India’s inconsistencies are cleared up however, they should be able to defend the spot until the end of the season, giving the team a financial and emotional boost which could take them to the next level.

Follow Mike Guzman on Twitter @Mike486

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