Are Williams too good for Force India this season?

Force India’s lead driver Sergio Perez seems to think so. 

“I think Williams is too far ahead at the moment”, said Perez, “Toro Rosso and Haas were quicker than us – so to beat them on track with strategy, we can be happy with that.”

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Both Force India drivers did manage to finish in the top 10 in Australia over the weekend with Perez finishing in P7 behind the Williams of Felipe Massa and Esteban Ocon hanging on to P10 to score his first point in Formula 1.

“I think we came with more than we thought, more than the car’s pace deserved today”, said Perez at the end of the Australian GP, “As a team, we did a perfect weekend and I’m very pleased with that.”

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It is true what Sergio is saying here because if you look at the grid for the 2017 season, there is no denying that the midfield has gotten a lot tighter with Toro Rosso, Haas, Renault, and possibly even Sauber getting on the act soon.

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that Force India seem to have had the biggest performance loss in the midfield compared to the teams around them, apart from Sauber. So everyone else is getting better, but Force India seem to have gotten a bit worse.

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This is in part due to the Force India car being overweight leading to performance loss. Perez has been forced to be on a crash diet to make up for it, but reckons the weight issue of the car could be solved in a few weeks time.

“I think the weight, sooner or later we will be on it”, he said, “Maybe latest by Bahrain, so I don’t think that is a big issue.”

For now, however, Force India are indeed running at a deficit to Williams. The P7 and P10 they gained in Australia was down to good strategy and isn’t really representative of where their performance is at the moment.

However, do I think Force India will beat Williams throughout the season? Yes, I do.

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Force India are battling weight and car balance issues, but I do believe they will have those sorted in no time. Yes, the midfield is closer and perhaps the Toro Rossos could be a consistent threat. Perhaps even the Haas cars could get their act together, perhaps Nico Hulkenberg could be amongst the points. But Force India and Williams are still the P4 and P5 teams behind the top three.

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Also I don’t think I’m wrong in saying this but Williams perhaps have the worst driver lineup on the grid. Yes, Felipe is of course motivated and up for the job even though he has been forced out of retirement. But given the inexperience of Lance Stroll, I do believe at least for the first half of the season, Felipe Massa will be carrying both cars and I don’t know if he is good enough now to do that and put both Perez and Ocon behind him consistently.

We shall of course keep a keen eye on the midfield battle this year. It is very exciting.

Feature image courtesy :

– Aditya Bhat.


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