Force India’s chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer says the team’s 2018 car must have “podium potential” if it is going to prevent the threat from rival outfits this season.
Despite failing to appear on the rostrum across the entire season for the first time since 2013, the Silverstone-based squad retained fourth-place in the constructors’ championship for the second year running.
Szafnauer cites McLaren, Renault and Williams as the team’s major contenders this year, with all of them making significant changes to boost their competitiveness, and says it will need to make a big leap forward in performance to ward off their challenge.
“For us, it would be great if we could develop the car to such a point where we’ve got good potential for a few podiums,” Szafnauer told RACER.
“And if we achieve that and come closer to third but maintain fourth, I think that would be an objective that would be a big success for Force India.
“With McLaren and their new engine partner in Renault making strides, and Renault themselves pouring even more resources in and working hard to catch up, as well as Williams with Paddy Lowe and their new head of aero [Dirk de Beer], having their first car, it will be difficult for us to beat all three of those teams.