MEAN GREEN MA­CHINE

Tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Andy Green on Force In­dia’s ma­chine-shop method

F1 Racing - - COVER STORY -

F1 Rac­ing: What’s your phi­los­o­phy for tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment?

Andy Green: We try to fo­cus on the key ar­eas. We use the feed­back from the driv­ers ex­ten­sively and that’s re­ally what we base our de­vel­op­ment around – where they see the im­por­tant ar­eas of im­prove­ment, from a car-han­dling per­spec­tive. Be­cause it’s not just about adding down­force to the car; you’ve got to add down­force to the car in the right way, and in a way that al­lows the driver to use it.

So it’s im­por­tant that we al­ways lis­ten to the driver on the ar­eas where he feels the car could be im­proved.

F1R: And how do you use the sim­u­la­tor? AG: We back up what the driv­ers are telling us with work on the sim­u­la­tor to dou­ble-check that the car mim­ics their feed­back and that we’re get­ting an ap­pro­pri­ate lap-time per­for­mance.

Af­ter that, it’s a case of look­ing at the car and un­der­stand­ing what ar­eas need to be im­proved to give that re­sponse and the im­prove­ment to the driver’s han­dling. That’s where feed­back from the car and the sen­sors on it play a vi­tal role in how we go about de­vel­op­ment.

F1R: What did you find were the big­gest chal­lenges of de­sign­ing to the new reg­u­la­tions for this sea­son?

AG: It re­ally was a case of re­build­ing the car from scratch and we’re still im­mersed in that process now. Try­ing to un­der­stand where Pirelli were go­ing to go with the tyres was prob­a­bly the big­gest area of un­known to us, be­cause we weren’t in­volved with any of the test­ing last year. So we were more or less in the dark as to what to ex­pect from the rub­ber.

F1R: Will we see big per­for­mance gains as the year goes on? AG: Ab­so­lutely. De­vel­op­ments are go­ing to be very steep and if we were to race the early tracks with end-of-sea­son cars, they would be sig­nif­i­cantly faster.

F1R: By how much? AG: Sec­onds.

F1R: So what’s it like know­ing that you’ve got that much per­for­mance to tap?

AG: It’s frus­trat­ing, be­cause I want it now! That’s the thing; we want all that per­for­mance on the car now, but it’s not pos­si­ble. It takes time to push those de­vel­op­ments through the de­sign cy­cle and man­u­fac­tur­ing process, and get­ting them on the car is in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing, be­cause you just want to be able to flick a switch and the parts are there – but for us that’s not pos­si­ble.

F1R: Do you think that’s where teams like Red Bull and Mercedes are bet­ter able to score so heav­ily? AG: Ab­so­lutely. They are al­ways able to bring parts to the track way faster than we can.

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