On a high after last season’s fairytale show, Force India has set itself a target of finishing in the top half of the Formula One championship this year.
Force India driver Adrian Sutil and Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer said the team would have to be regularly among the points this season so that they finish inside the top 5-6 in the Constructor’s Championship table.
“We finished 2009 well, that’s why it’s important to continue the trend. We have to be competitive, and point-scoring is the main goal,” Sutil said.
“It was in the second half last season that we started doing well and we have to continue that trend,” said the lanky German driver, who would spearhead Force India’s campaign this season.
Szafnauer said the team would hope to finish in the top half.
“It’s crucial to continue the same kind of performance and maintain the same level. I say so because the closer we get to the front of the grid, the tougher it is to take those further steps,” said the Romania-born electrical engineer.
“However, our goals would be to be a regular point-scorer and to get as high as possible in the championship table.
Depending on how many teams compete, we want to be in the top half anyway, above the middle,” he said.
“In 2009, although we were very good in the end, we finished just one place ahead of the bottom. We want to do better this time and be in the top half this year,” said Szafnauer.
Asked if Force India would miss Giancarlo Fisichella, who earned the team’s first point and podium in Belgian Grand Prix last year, Otmar said Formula One is not just about the drivers.
“Fisi had a world of experience but our drivers (Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi) have been with the team for a while.
Our team is not about one racing driver but 288 people,” said Szafnauer, who has worked with Jaguar and Honda in the past.
Sutil, meanwhile, felt Fisichella’s exit actually augured well for him.
“He was good for the team but once he left, I took the chance. I thought now I will show the world what I can do. It increased my responsibility but not in the negative sense,” Sutil said.