Admittedly, I haven’t scoured every Force India press release since October so I may have missed any stated intentions they had for the 2016 car. I assumed that they would stick with the chassis they had introduced as the B-spec car mid-year in 2015 and it was a resounding success as they secured the highest position the team has ever had in the Constructor’s Championship.
I assumed they would enter 2016 with that very car, modified with new innovations, and if they were to field a new chassis, it might be a new offering mid-2016. That’s a big assumption because if the current chassis proves to be a platform to build on, they may not need a new one come August. I also assumed releasing a mid-season B-spec car could work well for smaller teams but with the uncertainty of the 2017 regulation changes, it will make any new chassis a very difficult thing for Force India to guess at and therefore, they may simply wait until the regulations are defined prior to starting on a new chassis.
According to Nico Hulkenberg, this B-spec chassis may be just that:
“If you look at all the different tracks, the different tyre compounds, whatever, with the B-spec we are more or less in a position where we can score good points on every track on any day, and that is good,” Hulkenberg said.
“We have built a really good solid foundation to put us in a good position, and now it is our job to keep working at it and to build on that.
“That is crucial if we are to straight away be competitive at the first race.
“Obviously it’s really difficult to predict what we’re capable of. Impossible.
“But that will be seen when we roll out the car for winter testing and the first races.
“Obviously we target on improving and to close the gap to the front, that is definitely what we are after, what we want and what everybody is pushing for.
“But it doesn’t come to you. You have to go get it and find it, so that’s our work now.”
No doubt the team will pour resources into improving this chassis and to be honest, they may do very well in the early races of 2016 given the reliability of the B-spec and performance it has. The team may not be challenging for wins but they could secure some critical points in the opening races should their immediate competition struggle with their new cars.
Needless to say, Force India has a lot to be positive about the start of the season and Hulkenberg is looking forward to the start.
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT