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News - Spanish GP
Robert Fernley: “We’ve just got to dig deep and move forward”
15 May 2012
Sahara Force India’s drivers had mixed fortunes in Spain as Nico Hülkenberg scored a point in P10 while Paul di Resta finished P14, both men having spent part of the race fighting with some big names. We asked Deputy Team Principal, Robert Fernley, for his thoughts on the weekend.
Are you pleased with the way the upgrade package performed in Spain?
“From our point of view our upgrade has gone in successfully. I think we’ve still got a little bit more engineering to be able to optimise it. Two to three tenths of optimisation would have put us fifth, and don’t forget it was the first time we’ve run it….”
Some of the team’s usual rivals scored well in Barcelona. Is that frustrating?
“We’ve seen a situation with Sauber in Malaysia where they came second and perhaps had the possibility of a victory. Williams were quite strong in Australia. Both have tailed off a bit and then Williams came back exceptionally strongly in Barcelona. Is it peaks and troughs, or is it consistency? At the moment I’m not discouraged because I think Sahara Force India and Lotus are probably the two most consistent teams. We’re not at the front, but we’re there and thereabouts all the time. I think we’d be more disconcerted if Williams continued to deliver. They have a jolly good car and we’ve always said the competition is incredible, and we’ve just got to dig deep and move forward.”
Nico spent a lot of time fighting some big names. How did his race go?
“He was very, very good. He had some tyre problems at the beginning, but he overcame them and delivered a superb race. His first set of tyres went off quicker than we thought they would do. But to keep Mark Webber behind him for that length of time was impressive. Any rust that might have been on him is clearly gone!”
Paul didn’t make the points. How was his race?
“Paul started off very well and then for some reason when we switched him onto the hard tyres for the last two runs, we didn’t get the performance we expected, so we need to understand why that is. We’ll analyse it very carefully because the initial two stints were very positive for Paul.”
Finally does the fact that Williams can win a race and Sauber nearly won a race give you some encouragement?
“Absolutely. Two to three tenths in qualifying is the difference between fifth and 13th. That’s how tight it is. I think we’ve got to be pleased with what we achieved, it’s not enough, but it’s certainly closed the gap. As we’ve always said, the quality of the field is amazing around us, and it’s not going to be easy for anybody.”