McLaren/Renault pose "significant" threat to Force India

Formula 1 rivals McLaren and Renault will pose a "significant" threat to Force India next season, according to the team's deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

McLaren/Renault pose "significant" threat to Force India
Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, Felipe Massa, Williams FW40, Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Carlos Sainz Jr., Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
 Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32, Esteban Ocon, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10, Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32, leads Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, and Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM10

Force India secured fourth in the constructors' championship for the second successive year, finishing a comfortable 104 points clear of fifth-placed Williams.

But Fernley is aware Renault is on an upward trajectory, snatching sixth in the constructors' championship at the final race of the season, where Nico Hulkenberg finished ahead of both Force India drivers to take sixth in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, McLaren, which like Renault has a notably bigger budget than Force India, is ditching Honda for Renault power for 2018.

"Caution would be both Renault and McLaren look quite handy so make sure we focus on the winter," Fernley told Motorsport.com.

"They are a significant threat and we need to take it seriously. We need to do quite a bit of work ourselves to make sure that we accommodate that.

"There will be no quarter given for those three cars. The three teams will be locked into a massive battle."

Force India has one of the smallest budgets on the grid, at around £90m, compared to Renault running on £150m and McLaren £185m.

"It'll always be difficult to compete against the bigger budgets, but saying that, we've done it for two years in a row so there's no reason why we can't do it for a third," said Fernley.

Force India started the season consistently and reliably and then pulled clear of the midfield, slotting in behind the top three teams with an impressive rate of development.

When asked if McLaren and Renault's increased threat will change the way Force India approaches next season, Fernley said: "I don't think so.

"If you looked at the beginning of the season, which was the hard part, we didn't have the car underneath us. So we had to use a lot more racing strategy, reliability and good driving.

"That has to stay in place for next year but on top of that, hopefully we're performing properly next year.

"You'll still have that gap to the top three but there will be three teams going for fourth place."

shares
comments
F1 future to be shaped around three performance factors

Previous article

F1 future to be shaped around three performance factors

Next article

What we would change about Formula 1

What we would change about Formula 1
Load comments
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021