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GP Week : Issue 96
Space Company (EADS), the parent company of aircraft manufacturer Airbus, helping the small Silverstone-based team to tap into another rich stream of knowledge and experience. "We work alongside EADS and we'll ask their advice on certain things, on what we should be doing technically to develop the parts of the car that we're looking at. Basically we have meetings with them and use their knowledge on how they can help us and move things forward, which has been been a very important partnership. "With us being such a small team it's quite difficult sometimes to get hold of the hardware required to do some of the design development that we want to do, and that's where their partnership is invaluable because they've obviously got access to the best equipment in the world." Staff retention has been a bit of a problem for the team of late however, with numerous high-profile members of the technical team leaving to join former boss Mike Gascoyne at Lotus Racing. Despite the obvious downside of losing a member of the team, Stevenson looks on the situation as one of opportunity and being able to promote younger members of the team higher up the food chain. "People move on all throughout the industry, it just seems the press has picked up on the fact that certain people have moved to Lotus. If you look at any team, people are moving around all the time. We've got some fantastic young designers working for us now and what it allows us to do is to promote from within the company which again is very important to Force India. We don't just want to hire in the best people, what we want to do is to develop the guys that we have, and we have some really, really good people." So what is in store for Force India in the future? Despite having one of the smallest teams on the grid, Stevenson insists the budget being supplied is not holding it back. "I wouldn't say we're constrained by budget. We're working to a budget that's agreed at the start of the year and we're given goals to reach. At the moment we're probably slightly under that goal -- we were asked for fifth in the championship, and we're currently sitting sixth. I would say that what we've achieved is pretty good, but the important thing for us now is to make sure we don't lose that." Looking further down the line, you'd be mistaken to think this team is happy where it is - not by a long shot. With the famously secretive Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA) set to reduce team sizes in the coming years to bring bigger teams closer in staff numbers to the smaller outfits like Force India, the target is to win. Not just race wins but world championships. "We're going to win! The aim is to keep building and ultimately we want to win races and we want to win championships, but we have to be realistic about it all," said Stevenson. "As long as we keep moving forward with the rate of development we are, I think we're going to be satisfied. What we have to do is take each year and see where we are and just try and improve on it. If we finish fifth this year, we'll probably want to finish fourth or third next year." But can that be a realistic aim for a team when giants such as Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Renault and Mercedes are among their competitors? "I think so," answers Andy. "Resource restriction should change [team sizes] in years to come, which will theoretically put the teams on a far more even footing. I don't think it's a far-fetched theory of ours or a thought of mine that we can win championships in the future. We're definitely not here just to compete -- we're not just an also-ran. "But we have to be realistic and we have to build up the team so that we can support that and we can do that. That's certainly the plan." The fight spirit of Eddie Jordan is alive and well within the walls of his old factory. Economy run (left): Liuzzi and Sutil get around by pedal-power. On the bench (below, L to R): Team ManagerAndy Stevenson, Otmar Szafnauer (Chief Operating Officer) and outgoing Chief Operating Officer Simon Roberts. 26