Force India target Red Bull battle in 2019

Wednesday, 07 november 2018, 09:38 , by Matthew Scott

Force India believe that challenging Red Bull in the fight behind Mercedes and Ferrari is a realistic target for 2019 after the takeover from Lawrence Stroll. Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer says the team has gone from the brink of extinction to now harbouring hopes of serious racing success.

Fourth-place finishes in the constructors' championship in 2016 and 2017 earmarked Force India as arguably F1's highest-achieving team when points-to-pounds were considered.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon have once again combined for the fourth-highest points tally among drivers, but the team is seventh in the standings after losing their points for the first 12 races of the season, having launched as effectively a new team following the Stroll takeover.

With cash having arrived in time to significantly boost 2019 development, Szafnauer believes the team can aim high next year.

"We want to fight for third place. I think we and Renault have a chance of getting closer to Ferrari and Mercedes in 2019," Szafnauer told Globo.

"Without Lawrence Stroll coming in, we would not have got to the race in August.

"I've been in F1 for 20 years and we started talking six months ago. But I have realised we are both [North] Americans and have similar ways of looking at and reacting to things.

"He [Stroll] wants to accelerate the growth of the team to the maximum to reach the top three who are dominating."

Szafnauer admits that it is unclear exactly where Force India will be in the shake-up next year, with teams tackling a new set of aerodynamic regulations.

"It's hard to know how our preparations are going, because this game is relative, and unless you know what the others are finding it's difficult to know where we stand," he added.

"But we are happy with the progress we are making. We were fortunate enough to run a version of next year's wing in the Hungary test and from that we have learned a lot and it's given us good direction."

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Comments (16)

  • Vincenzo Mascia
    LO RB thinks they will win he championship Force India thinks they can take 3rd from RB LOL Everyone bullshitting everyone lol
  • Isaac Azuz
    Ambition in f1 is fucking sad and pathetic. If it were a japanese sport they would all be a disappointment.
  • Siddhant Mahajan
    Maamoun Maximilian Alex my boys are coming. we winning the constructors championship
  • Nick Osborn
    So do all the teams who are behind the top 3..what a great story of shit sherlock.
  • Tyler Saulay
    RedBull will have the Honda engine. It's not that far fetched.
  • Aaron Dennis
    With Stroll you'll be lucky to be battling Toro Rosso.
  • Dennis Iyo
    Perez/Ocon may be. Perez/Stroll idk?
  • Szymon Siesicki
    I'm sure Lance can lead them and achieve it! :D
  • Peter Dryden
    Not with daddies boy Lance Stroll you won't
  • Connor Spinks
    Renault might take the fight but not these guys
  • Andre Hogewoning
    After Red Bull gets second place from Ferrari.
  • Pranay Dawne
    With Lance stroll?
  • Alex Wood

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