Why Force In­dia missed bulk of tests

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Con­cern about team’s readi­ness for Mel­bourne mounts as they’re forced to miss first two tests

Force In­dia are fac­ing a chal­leng­ing start to the 2015 sea­son. A se­ries of sup­ply de­lays and other is­sues have meant that their new car won’t run un­til the nal pre-sea­son test.

The team missed the rst test in Jerez, and as F1 Rac­ing went to press, deputy team prin­ci­pal Bob Fern­ley ad­mit­ted the new VJM08 would not make it to the sec­ond test ei­ther. The team were due to run a 2014 car in that test at Barcelona, which started on 19 Fe­bru­ary, while work con­tin­ued in the fac­tory to ready the new car for the nal test, which be­gins on 26 Fe­bru­ary.

Force In­dia’s timetable has been slip­ping as the year has pro­gressed. Ini­tially, they said they would make it to the rst test, but only with their 2014 car. They said the 2015 VJM08 would run at the sec­ond test.

Then they pulled out of the rst test al­to­gether and said the new car was “likely” to miss the sec­ond. Their trou­bles have led to re­ports that they will strug­gle to make the rst grand prix of the year in Australia, although the team in­sists there is “no doubt” they will make the race.

Asked on 6 Fe­bru­ary whether he could conrm that Force In­dia would com­pete in Mel­bourne and be­yond, Fern­ley said: “Yes. From the in­for­ma­tion I have to­day, I do. The ques­tion for me is only how much of the third test we will par­tic­i­pate in.”

While Force In­dia’s longer-term prospects have been boosted by an ex­tra inux of Mex­i­can back­ing from Car­los Slim (see p102), Fern­ley says the team’s prepa­ra­tions have been hit by two prob­lems.

There was a de­lay in nal­is­ing their new deal to use Toy­ota’s wind­tun­nel in Cologne, be­cause Toy­ota rst had to make sure that Cater­ham would not be able to full their con­tract to use it. Sec­ond, due to the demise of Cater­ham and Marus­sia at the tail-end of the 2014 sea­son, Fern­ley says that sup­pli­ers have “not been able to af­ford to give us the credit terms we’ve had and en­joyed in the past.”

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