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Fernley: We’ll fight hard for fifth!

18 May 2013

Deputy team principal Bob Fernley insists that Sahara Force India will push hard to try and retain a top five championship position through the rest of the F1 season.

A solid start to the campaign has seen the Silverstone-based score points in four of the opening five races to sit ahead of McLaren going into next weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

While it remains to be seen if Force India can stay ahead of the multiple title winners as the development race kicks in over the course of the season, Fernley insisted that his team would do all it could to keep its advantage.

“Fifth is something we'll fight for, but being realistic, you can't easily fight with the might of McLaren,” he told SPEED.com. “It's nice to come out of the first five races in fifth place, but can we hold it? It will be tough. But we'll give it a good go! We've got competitive drivers giving everything they can.

“I think the weakness for the team at the moment is getting both cars in the points. That's what we've got to try and overcome. In Bahrain, effectively we beat two Mercedes, two Ferraris, two McLarens and a Red Bull. We're not quite there yet to be able to take on the pace that some of them have, but I think we can race Mercedes at the moment.

“In the last two years we've got better through the season, and I think the same thing will apply. But I'm not sure that you're going to see the same big steps that we've seen in the past. We're coming to the end of evolution of development. Of course there will be some things, but I don't think there's a big upgrade left in anyone's cars. And soon people will have to start looking at 2014.”

Fernley added the he felt confident about Force India's chances next weekend in Monaco given the fact that the team has already secured results this season at circuits where it hasn't gone well in the past.

Monaco, by contrast, is a venue where the team has previously gone well.

“We've never had a bad car in Monaco, we've always done quite well there,” he said, “and it's encouraging for us that we could go to places like Shanghai and Barcelona, historically not our better tracks, and at both qualify and race in the top ten.”


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