‘Every year, we’ve punched above our weight’

Robert Fernley, Force India's deputy team principal has been one the the few constants in the set-up that has changed over five seasons. He came into prominence after Vijay Mallya took over from Colin Kolles as team principal after a disappointing first season. Thereafter, Fernley has been the hands-on man, as he helped transform (from behind the scenes) the outfit from a back-marker side into a competitive mid-table outfit. Excerpts from an interview.

You seem to be one of the only permanent members of this side since Force India's existence. How was it working with a rookie unit in the beginning and giving it a sheen of consistency over the five year period?

When Vijay Mallya brought the team it was stuck at the back of the grid, but just a year later the team was on pole position and celebrating its first podium finish at the Belgian GP.

Each year the team has progressed and in many ways punched above its weight, which is a credit to everyone involved at the factory and on the race team. We should not underestimate how difficult it is to qualify or finish a race in the top-10, competing with teams all fighting for those positions.

After almost three seasons, the three new teams (Marrusia, Caterham, HRT) have yet to score a point and established teams with much better assets, such as Williams and Sauber, find it challenging to compete against Sahara Force India.

How did Force India turn things around after a disappointing debut season?

Well, it was very difficult for us to make an impact during 2008, our first season in Formula One. But after a year of evaluation we identified the areas that needed attention and put a long-term strategy together — a strategy that has served us extremely well over the last four seasons.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
comments powered by Disqus