Como algunos de vosotros sabréis, el otro día Force India me comunicó que había sido seleccionado finalista de su concurso #JoinTheTeam para formar parte del equipo en Monza. Por ello, quería publicar el artículo con el que participé en el concurso. El tema era un análisis de la primera mitad de la temporada de Force India, de un máximo de 800 palabras.
Nobody could have expected that Force India would be fifth in the Constructors Championship at this point of the season. Some delays during the preseason (related to the wind tunnel) forced the team not to unveil their 2015 car until the penultimate day of the preseason test in Montmeló.
However, in spite of being in such a complex situation, the team was capable of arriving at Melbourne in a decent shape. Both Force India drivers were able to get his car into Q2, something that seemed impossible weeks before. On Sunday, all the team was superb, and they achieved an impressive double points finish (Nico 7th and ‘Checo’ 10th).
Malaysia, China, Bahrein and Spain were difficult challenges for Force India. They were totally focused on developing the VJM08-B in order to unveil it at Silverstone, therefore it was easy to predict that they would struggle during these races. Taking into account all these factors, the unexpected eight position that ‘Checo’ achieved in Bahrein after managing his tyres brilliantly was something to be applauded. Although it was far from the podium he got last year, it was a really valuable result.
The situation was turning a bit nasty for the team, but everything changed in Monaco. The car behaved really well in the street circuit of Montecarlo, and Pérez took the most out of it to finish in a brilliant seventh position. Hülkenberg’s race was ruined after a contact with Alonso in the first lap, but he fought until the finish line and finished very close to the points zone.
The Gilles Villenueve (Canada) and the Red Bull Ring (Austria) were two circuits that fitted really well the strongest areas of the VJM08. The recent 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Nico Hülkenberg drove superbly during these two weekends: he qualified 7th in Canada and finished 8th, and then he even improved his performance in Austria, qualifying 5th (ahead of Valtteri Bottas) and finishing 6th after a brilliant fight with the Williams driver.
The post-Austria test was another inflexion point in the Force India’s season. They introduced an extremely original new concept of nose, with two holes, as well as other parts of the car that worked really well. At that time, Force India was prepared to run for the first time with some of the updates of the ‘B’ version of the VJM08 at Silverstone.
Their home race was not supposed to be the best race of the year for Force India: the characteristics of the circuit, with plenty of high-speed corners, were not the best for them. Nevertheless, the improvement due to the new VJM08-B make Force India be as competitive as in Canada and Austria. However, it was a shame for them that the rain didn’t appear some laps before, since Hülkenberg was the quickest driver over the slippery track, which also demonstrated that the Force India reacts well to the wet conditions.
After the impressing start in Silverstone, where both Force India drivers gained four positions during the first metres of the race, they repeated that clutch-master class in the Hungaroring. From 11th on the grid, Nico move up to fifth position at the end of lap two. However, this was not the best weekend for Force India: Pérez suffered an unexpected accident after a broken suspension during the FP1, and Hülkenberg was forced to retire during the race after a sudden failure in his front wing, which lead to another accident. In spite of that incidents, the pace shown by Force India was impressive, given that Hülkenberg was in sixth position when he was retired, in a circuit that probably was the worst of the season for the strengths of the VJM08. If in such a difficult situation Hülkenberg was fighting for the fifth place, which result will Force India’s drivers achieve in more favourable tracks? The podium is closer than even for them.
Once more, Force India has demonstrated to be the most efficient team in terms of points related to their budget, as well as being the quickest team in boxes several times, among others achievements. Besides, everyone was expecting McLaren-Honda to make an impressive progress during the season, but in fact has been Force India the team that has really progressed! And what does all it mean? Definitely, if all the teams had the same budget, Force India would probably be the most competitive one. And that is why it is impossible not to be a Force India fan if you are a real Formula One fan.