Force India fear taking a major financial hit on the back of their struggles. Since Pirelli changed the construction of its tyres from the German GP onwards in the wake of the tyre blowouts at Silverstone, Force India have claimed just three points from seven races. At one stage fifth place in the Constructors’ race beckoned, but the team have slipped to sixth behind McLaren, and are now coming under threat from Sauber.
As miserably as Force India have fallen away, Sauber have been rejuvenated by the tyre change, claiming 38 points from the last four GPs. In trailing Force India by 17 points, sixth place is in their sights and with it big prize money. Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley told PA Sport: “The difficulty for us is we are still off the pace of where we were.
That’s opening the door for Sauber who’ve had some strong races, and now we are really looking over our shoulder. “Most of the gaps in prize money (in the constructors’) are between 3.5million pounds to 4million pounds, but unfortunately the gap between sixth and seventh is more like 6million pounds to 7million pounds (Rs 60 crore approx). It’s a big hit, not one we want.
“We can chip away at where we are to try to get back into the points, and we’re almost there. “If we can get that extra tenth (of a second) or two then it allows us to compete, but whether it will be enough to compete with Sauber, I’m not sure,” he added.