Hindsight is often times 20/20 and it seems after contemplating the Canadian Grand Prix strategy call for a week has given Force India time to second guess their tactics. At the time of the closing ceremonies of the race, the team were adamant that they did the right thing. Fair enough.
After thinking about it a day or so, they (Bob Fernley) admitted that they may have to re-think the way they make team strategy int eh future. Fair enough.
After a week of consideration and editorials in the press about sating sponsorship investment and always going for the podium when the opportunity presents itself, team COO Otmar Szafnauer says that in hindsight, they should have swapped the cars and much earlier than they even started discussing it in the race.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing because you have more information,” he said.
“What I would have done is perhaps swap them earlier – just after the Ferraris pitted. Do it then and it is easy.
“You can get your tyres back up to temperature and there is no risk from behind.
“Then, if it doesn’t happen, you still have time to swap back.
“We didn’t do that, we started discussing it a bit late and then after it was too late.”
To be fair, it’s not the first time Force India has seen a potential podium so I don’t want to beat them up for the call. If you listened to our podcasts from a couple of years ago, you’ll recall that we suggested that Williams needs to start making strategy calls that actually represent their performance and very likelihood of a potential podium, not as a team running mid-field.
Like Williams back then, I think Force India are a little pleased, if not surprised, to find themselves in that enviable position and perhaps their race strategy hasn’t been including podium scenarios but it should…just like Williams back then.
It took Williams a few races to say, wait a tick, we’re real contenders and we have hte pace to possible podium in races so we need to re-think our strategy and really try to make the steps of a podium. The good news is, they did make the right adjustment and were rewarded for doing so. I think Force India will as well.
Let’s be fair to the team, this is a group of folks that are punching above their weight and doing so with an chaotic owner situation with Vijay Mallya. The pressure they’ve endured since 2008 has been immense and I can’t credit Bob Fernley and Ottmar enough for holding this team together and finding the resources and pace to be as competitive as they have been. This team is a real success story in F1 despite the controversy and shenanigans that Mallya has offered with his debt issues in India.
Autosport has an interesting quote from Mercedes about what they feel Force India should have done and its an interesting read so be sure to check it out. They were tracking the strategy of Force India as well and have some interesting insight too.
Hat Tip: Autosport