02/02/2012

Force India's Otmar Szafnauer interview

This is an interesting interview of Otmar Szafnauer, Force India's sporting director, by the German tabloid Auto Motor Und Sports. We get some great insight over the teams working and the thought process which goes behind all the decision.

Otmar admitted that the team could have ended P5 or maybe even P4 in CC in 2011 if they had done better in first 3-4 races in the season. He revealed that there are 310 people working with the team with 212 at the factory and 98 in the aero department in Brackley. He even revealed that their simulator will be operational in February which they are integrating: 

We are in the process of integrating our own simulator. He will be fully operational in February, which is intended only for development work. In McLaren simulator, we work on the set. The capacities are there, not to operate, parallel vehicle development. About the upgrade of the wind tunnel, we decided early this year.”

He said the losses of James Key & Mark Smith was not a problem as they were replaced by Andy Green whom they knew since Jordan days. He also acknowledged the pit stops improvements as they ended 4th overall in pit stops time while they were 2nd in the list of most lap completed. On asked about the problems they faced at the start of 2011 season he said:
  
“It took us a while to figure out what is the concept of the two exhaust/diffuser variations was the better. During the tests we had not yet fully understood. Then it took two months for the respective parts were produced. The front chassis was a bit soft, because we had used new materials. We have detected the error and fixed quickly. The same was true for the rear wing. We had a stall at the back flap of the DRS.”

He also touched upon various other topics including the advantage and disadvantage of running reserve driver on Friday and the teams in-season developments during 2011 season. For full interview click here, it is in German however!

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