Racing Point Force India team currently is processing their budget for 2019 and beyond as team principal Otmar Szafnauer reveals some details.
The details surrounding the new Force India team has been minimum so far ever since the buyout from the consortium led by Lawrence Stroll. A lot has been said about its progress especially on the financial side.
The FRP Advisory handed the team to the new owners after careful study of the future plan. When asked Szafnauer about the future plans and how things are taking shape behind the scenes, the American sounded positive.
He revealed the budgeting process for the future is ongoing but there will certainly be an increase for the team to perform even better. “We have to be careful that the ethos of the team doesn’t degrade,” he said.
“We still have to spend our money wisely, but for sure financial stability helps in this sport. I can give you some examples. This year our launch car, or our first race car, that we should have had in Australia, came in, I believe, Barcelona.
“Had we had the money this year, for example, our performance would have been much better, much earlier. And that we will not suffer from next year. Over the winter, we will be able to realise all our developments that we come up with through some experimentation.
“We’ll be able to put them on the car because of the improved financial stability and that will for sure help performance. We are going through the budgeting process now, as we do every year, and we will increase that budget for sure, especially in capital expenditure.
“The team has lacked capital expenditure for quite some time. And then other areas of operating expenditure that will bring performance, we’ll have the ability to increase that too. But that budgeting process for next year is happening now and should finish around December time frame,” he explained.
Amid the positive statements, over the weekend, one of the rival bidders Uralkali – which is also one of the teams’ sponsors, registered a claim on FRP Advisory, demanding damages for wrongful process of the sale.
When asked Szafnauer, he dismissed it stating that there is zero involvement of the team in the case. Moving on the on-track performance, the American said both Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will be reminded to leave enough gap to each other on Lap 1.
The two made collision in Singapore which resulted in huge loss of points as they chase McLaren for sixth which is the realistic target as per Szafnauer. “[Singapore] was an unfortunate incident,” he said.
“We definitely spoke with them after. We analysed what happened and we’ll be speaking with them this weekend as well. It’s going to be no different to how it’s been – it’s just I think they forgot.
“So we’re going to remind them that they have to give each other enough room, and especially on lap one and even leave margin for error. So, if something does happen, they don’t run into each other. We’ll remind them of that and show them how that can be done.
“If we continue to do a good job and don’t crash into each other, I think realistically we should be targeting at least sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, which is attainable but not easy to do.
“I think above that it will take some luck on our part or some misfortune on somebody else’s part,” he explained. On their 2019 line-up, Szafnauer said they will announce both the Force India drivers in due course of time.
About the Author
Darshan Chokhani is a FIA Accredited journalist covering both Indian and International championships, including Formula 1, MotoGP, Formula E, World Endurance Championship and more. Although specialising in motor racing, but follows Cricket, Tennis, WWE and events involving Indian athletes.