Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer admits that the Silverstone team is losing out in the midfield development race due to pressure on resources.
Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon scored valuable points with seventh and eighth in Germany last weekend, moving the team ahead of Haas in fifth place in the constructors’ table, although both teams have 59 points.
However, a financial squeeze has slowed down the progress of new parts at Force India, and the team has not been able to improve its car at the rate it would like.
Tthe strong form of Ferrari customers Haas and Sauber has put an even sharper focus on Force India’s situation.
“It’s a development race,” Szafnauer told Motorsport.com. “I’ve always said that that’s what it is, and it continues to be so.
“We’re nowhere near the asymptote of performance on these cars, people are learning all the time. To win a development race you need the resources to be able to develop.
“We are suffering, truth be told. If we had more resources, both financial and internal manufacturing, we’d have parts on the car quicker. And in a development race, that hurts you.
“Usually we don’t take little steps, we save them all up, and then try to do them all at once, whereas some of the others try to take baby steps, and when you take baby steps you learn as you go along, and that helps your direction.
“The whole thing is better when you have the resources.”
Szafnauer admitted there will come a point where it will be too late to manufacture and introduce upgrades which are designed but currently on hold, and the focus will have to switch to 2018.
“It’s how you use your resources, not just your money but where you spend your wind tunnel time. That’s important too. The quicker the better.”
Szafnauer said Ferrari’s recent upgrade, which has boosted Haas and Sauber, has made life even harder.
“It does put a premium. Even Ericsson was looking to overtake Esteban. Their powertrain has come on leaps and bounds. Mercedes have done a fabulous job for us over the years, but all credit to Ferrari, I think they’ve probably got the most powerful powertrain in F1 now.
“To have Haas and Sauber get us down the straights is something new for us. It’s an amazing powertrain. I just hope all those battery rumours have been put to bed.”