Force India F1 Team principal Vijay Mallya has come out saying that there are no worries over the new Pirelli tires in Formula One. Force India was the hardest hit by the new tires in the Hungarian Grand Prix, so much so that both cars failed to make the top-10 shoot out in qualifying that weekend. The team also failed to score in the previous race in Germany, when only slightly revised tires were raced.
This loss of performance has allowed the Mclaren F1 Team to catch Force India in the standings. They were 22 points behind Force India after the British Grand Prix, but now lie just two points behind after Hungary.
But Mallya believes there is nothing to worry about, as the problem rests on the team understanding the tires better rather than them actually needing to work well with the car. He says once they understand the new tires, the performance will come.
Force India does have a lot to lose if they fail to understand the tires. After consistent points finishes throughout the first half of the season, the team is placed fifth in the constructors’ standings, just ahead of Mclaren. Finishing the season in that position would be the best result in the team’s history, and would give them a solid platform to build from during 2014.
Based on their performance from Hungary and Germany, however, fifth place is far from guaranteed. Mclaren was helped, if anything, by the change in tires, and is also increasingly coming to grips with their troublesome car. Double points finishes in Germany and Hungary provided a major boost for the team heading into the summer break.
Even more frustrating for Force India is the fact that they went to so much trouble to understand the first generation of tires, only for it to be rendered useless by the mid-season change. Nevertheless, Mallya is confident the team can make up the lost ground. They will need to in order to hang on to their place in the standings.