The Force India team has yet to decide who will drive its cars, but behind the scenes the team has made some changes to the engineering management.
Dominic Harlow becomes Head of Circuit Engineering, a role which is similar in scope to that of Pat Fry in the new Ferrari set-up. In addition to his role in charge of engineering operations at the races, he takes an overview role on the design and development side. Meanwhile Andy Green moves into the technical director’s chair, replacing Mark Smith, who will soon leave the team to join his mentor Mike Gascoyne at Lotus. Smith had taken the TD role on from James Key, who left Force India for Sauber last Spring.
Force India used a similar tactic last season and it paid off for them, as they scored 43 points in the first ten races. “It works for us,” said Harlow. “If you look at last year we are quick from concept to reality because of our size we can gain a good chunk of time by developing early in the year.”
Inevitably the better funded teams outdevelop them as the year goes on because their resources stretch to racing and developing at the same time.
There is also another benefit in that with many teams launching on January 31st, the smaller teams get drowned out and don’t get much airplay. By launching later there will be more attention on the car.
Last year Force India finished seventh in the constructors’ championship, just pipped at the final race by Williams.