Sahara Force India drivers Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta feel the team’s decision to focus on changes next year has adversely affected its showing in the current season.

Force India made a good start to the season collecting 59 points from the first eight races, but slumped to manage only three in the next seven.

di Resta, who has not earned a point in the last seven races after the one at Silverstone, said more than his poor finishes and issues with the tyres, there was a bigger reason behind the team’s below-par showing. “We have not made any updates to give the car more speed. When the decision was taken we had an advantage.

Several changes

“Formula One is changing a lot next year with the introduction of new engines. The teams are working on engines round the year before the first Grand Prix next year… This is a big challenge for the small teams as it requires a lot of resources. When our car was competitive early in the year, the decision was taken to concentrate on the next year. This is a sacrifice to probably get the same start like this year,” said di Resta.

Ranked 11th in the drivers’ standings with 36 points, di Resta was speaking to mediapersons in the run-up to Force India’s home race, the Indian Grand Prix.Sutilsaid the team was targeting to hold on to its sixth spot in the next four races.

“We want to take the most out of the car, maximise performance and do not make any mistakes so that we can make a place in the top 10 and defend our sixth place in the constructors’ championship.”

Sutil said the home race for Force India was special for him. “We are here a few days earlier. It is a little bit different than other races. There is good support. Hope, it helps us.”

Asked whether the increase in the number of races from 19 this year to 22 in the next would take a toll on the drivers, Sutil said, “It is too much at the moment, 18 should be enough.

“The number (of races) is already a big challenge for us as a team. We do not have time at all. If you have more races, you will have more staff working in the team.”

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