Force India’s tire problems appear to have been eased in Singapore thanks to the use of the softest compound this weekend.
The team has struggled ever since Pirelli re-introduced the 2012 construction of tire on safety grounds following the fiasco that ensued at the British Grand Prix at the end of June. Since then, Force India has dropped behind McLaren in the constructors’ championship and the team faces an uphill task to recover the position. However, as Pirelli have opted to bring the super-soft and medium compounds to the race at Marina Bay, Paul di Resta believes that the team may be in better shape in Singapore.
“When a tire is 2.5 seconds quicker than the harder compound, it’s quite difficult to say, because it’s quite a big difference in grip and feel,” he explained. “I suppose you would reference it more on where the others are, but at the same point I think the softer compound tires seem to help us more than the harder compounds.
“I think the softer they are later on in the year, the more suited they will be to our car.”
Pirelli have confirmed that they will be using the super-soft and medium tires once again in Korea, so the team can hope to run well at Yeongam.
SMP Racing has publicly unveiled its new BR1 LMP1 car that will enter the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2018.
SMP Racing opted to pull out of racing full-time in the WEC for 2017 in order to focus on its preparations for an LMP1 entry the following year, with the decision being taken long in advance of Porsche’s exit announcement.
Officials from the Russian-backed SMP Racing, as well as drivers including recent IndyCar racer Mikhail Aleshin (sporting a broken arm in a sling), Vitaly Petrov and Sergey Sirotkin were all on hand to unveil the car on Friday in the Bahrain International Circuit paddock ahead of this weekend’s WEC finale.
The BR Engineering BR1 features a Dallara chassis and an AER engine, and has completed over 2,000 km in private testing, with further running set to be completed in the coming weeks.
SMP Racing plans to field two cars in the WEC’s LMP1 class next year, and is keen to get as many Russian drivers as possible in the seats from its wide pool of talent.
Even with Porsche’s departure from LMP1, the class is set to feature a bigger field thanks to the increased number of privateers moving up, with Toyota set to remain the sole manufacturer in the class.