Motor racing-Force India to start pre-season tests with old car
LONDON Jan 6 (Reuters) - Force India will start Formula One's pre-season testing next month with their old car before launching the new one at Spain's Jerez circuit, the team said on Thursday.
"We've carefully considered our plans for the start of the season and the introduction of the new Force India, the VJM04," chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer told Reuters in an email.
"The team will participate in all four pre-season tests and we will use the VJM03 for the first test in Valencia (starting Feb 1) before the VJM04 makes its test debut in Jerez the following week."
The decision sets the team at odds with most of their rivals, who have already drawn up plans to launch their new cars either on the eve of the opening Valencia test or on the first day at the eastern Spanish circuit.
However, 2010 champions Red Bull delayed their launch last year to gain the maximum amount of development time, as well as allowing their rivals less scope to react to closely-guarded innovations.
"Starting a test later with the new car gives us a couple of weeks more wind tunnel time when we are at our most productive to get the parts released for the new car," Szafnauer said.
"There is always a trade-off between running the car early and getting increased information for the aero department and we believe it will work to our advantage, given our size and resources."
The extra time will also give the team another opportunity to gain data about the new tyres provided by Pirelli, who have replaced Bridgestone, with the old car before seeing how they perform with the 2011 chassis.
Force India have yet to name their 2011 driver line-up and gave no details about their plans.
However, experienced German Adrian Sutil is widely expected to be retained and Briton Paul di Resta tipped to graduate from the reserve role to a full race seat.
Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi remains under contract, however, and is also expecting to race.
German Nico Hulkenberg, replaced at Williams by well-funded Venezuelan rookie Pastor Maldonado despite taking pole position in Brazil last year, is also in the frame to join as reserve driver.
"Force India is our best shot, but it is also no secret that quite a few drivers are trying to land a seat there. We are talking to them and let's wait and see what develops," Hulkenberg told the official formula1.com website last month.
Szafnauer said the 2011 car would be launched formally in Jerez.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by John O'Brien; To comment on this story firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please double-click on the newslink for more motor racing stories
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this