"We will celebrate this year's results, but we know we cannot rest on our laurels."
After a sluggish start Force India managed to turn their season around in 2015.
A strong second half display resulted in both drivers, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, achieving a top ten finish, and a 5th place position for the team, in the Constructor’s Championship.
Prior to the Austrian Grand Prix, seven races in, the team only managed to achieve five top ten finishes which was uncharacteristic to say the least.
It was after Spielberg when the team made the decision to switch to the B-spec model of their car, yielding a much higher level of performance for the remainder of 2015.
Although the relatively young F1 unit secured their best-ever finish in the Constructor’s Standings, when compared to the 2014 season, the team lacked the consistency required to test the Red Bulls and the Williams above them.
In 2014, there were only five individual instances where the drivers did not attain top ten finishes whereas, in 2015, there were eighteen occurrences.
The team’s consistency certainly needs to be improved upon if they hope to challenge for higher places in 2016.
Sergio Perez has had a fine season with only one retirement, a podium finish in Russia (which is Force India’s third podium in their history), a personal best championship position of 9th with a total of 78 points, and he eclipsed his teammate by 20 points.
Remarkably, Perez scored 63 of his 78 points in the last nine rounds of the season; top five finishes in Belgium, USA, Russia and Abu Dhabi greatly aided his position in the standings.
On the other hand, Nico Hulkenberg has not had the greatest year with five retirements, one DNS and no top five finishes.
In Hungary, he was involved in an unexpected incident at turn one when his front wing detached.
The car drove over it, resulting in debris being scattered far across the track and the car being sent slightly airborne before finding the barrier.
In the next six races he failed to finish four. A power unit failure in Belgium meant he couldn’t even start the race.
In Singapore a collision with Felipe Massa span the Force India driver into the barriers. A spin at turn two in Russia, and contact with Daniel Ricciardo in the USA broke his front right suspension.
However, when Hulkenberg managed to finish a race in the second half of the season it was always in the top ten places.
The Drivers’ Final Thoughts
It is fair to say Force India ended their season in style with a 5th and 7th place finish and the two drivers had much to say after the last chequered flag of 2015.
Sergio said: “It feels great to end the season with a strong performance and I’m very satisfied with how everything has gone this weekend – both in qualifying and the race.
“We pushed hard to try and beat Vettel today, but he had too much pace on the super softs and it wasn’t possible to hold him back.
“Looking back on the whole season it’s been my best year in Formula One and the most successful year for the team. There is a lot of potential for next season and we will be aiming even higher.”
Nico added: “It’s been a good season for the team and we will be aiming to build on it over the winter months.
“From a personal point of view, it hasn’t been one of my best years but it gives me an opportunity to learn from what happened and come back stronger.”
“I am already looking forward to 2016 and working hard to make sure we are competitive from the first race of the season.”
Otmar Szafnauer – Chief Operating Officer of Force India
The COO of Force India was undoubtedly a happy man: “We end the season with a strong result and 16 world championship points – the most we’ve scored at any race this season.
Otmar continued: “The second part of the season is testament to the hard work of everyone in the team and highlights the upward direction the team has followed in the last few years.
“We will celebrate this year’s results, but we know we cannot rest on our laurels.
“We’re already at work on our 2016 cars to pick up where we left off tonight and be competitive from the start of next year’s championship.”
The 2016 will be a fascinating spectacle for Force India Fans.
If the team can combine their consistency in 2014 with their second half brilliance in 2015 there is no reason the team can challenge for higher finish or at least push the Red Bulls and Williams teams to their utmost limits.
Also, a better season from Nico Hulkenberg will be required if the team is to progress so the pressure will be on him as opposed to his team mate in the coming year.