Why Force India missed bulk of tests
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 conrm 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 inux 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 full 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.”