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Force India "win a lot of races" in the simulator // A new podcast from the team previews the upcoming season

Published by Mr. C

Adrian Sutil surveys the Bahrain scenery
Adrian Sutil surveys the Bahrain sceneryCredit: Force India

Just in time for the start of the season, Force India have released a new 33 minute audio podcast. The format has changed significantly from last year, and there is a new feed to subscribe to. In the first episode, drivers Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi talk about the upcoming season, while Friday man Paul di Resta discusses testing.

The newly promoted Mark Smith, who recently replaced outgoing Technical Director James Key, offers insight into what the team have planned for the first race of the year. Updates include an aerodynamic package tested during the last two days in Barcelona, focusing on front and rear wing improvements plus changes to the diffuser. Smith says the team consider themselves to be in a mid-grid position and are looking to move forward.

The most enlightening section of the show comprises of an interview with Team Manager, Andy Stevenson. Talk turns to regulation changes including the reduction in available tyres and the banning of refuelling. Andy raises a number of important points relating to pit stops, including:

  • He doesn't think we'll see any sub two-second pits stops at the start of the season
  • His team have rehearsed pit stops over 1,500 times during the winter
  • Drivers absolutely must hit their pit marks this year, there is no time to adjust wheel gun positioning
  • The stopping tolerance drivers are working to is a 5mm margin of error

Stevenson also noted that teams will only have a few seconds to make strategy calls this year. In the past it was possible to predict to the nearest lap when someone might stop, but in 2010 they'll have no idea. He's also confident they've done their homework when it comes to strategy.

We are running race simulations daily with [our engineers], and throwing scenarios at them and seeing where we come out. The nice thing to say is we win a lot of races in the simulator.

- Andy Stevenson

The podcast wraps up with a chat with the left rear wheel gunner, Chris King. He'll be one of 12 people changing the tyres at a race, and while he's "happy with his wheel" he notes the extra pressure on the role this year. Worryingly he quotes a three to four second turnaround at this point in time.

You can listen to the full show here and either subscribe in iTunes or directly to the feed. We noted after the release of the recent Lotus podcast, that audio output from teams is likely to increase this season and it's good to see Force India are still committed to their podcast.