Giancarlo Fisichella has revealed that he is 'itching to drive' Force India's new Formula 1 machine, but team-mate Adrian Sutil admits that he is 'worried' about the car's late debut – and the knock-on effect that may have on the team's season.
The Silverstone-based squad's VJM02 will be the penultimate one of F1's 2009 brigade to make its public bow, ahead of only Scuderia Toro Rosso. That is down to the fact that the car had to be substantially re-designed to accommodate its new Mercedes-Benz engine and KERS package, after ditching Ferrari to begin a new technical agreement with McLaren-Mercedes.
Though that partnership is widely expected to drive Force India up the grid this year from its traditional position at the rear of the field – with recently-retired Red Bull Racing ace and soon-to-be BBC
F1 pundit David Coulthard tipping the minnows to be 'the shock of the season' [see separate story – click here
] – Sutil confirmed that he is not altogether happy about the VJM02's delayed birth, with only eight testing days now remaining ahead of the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 29 March.
“We are late and I am a little bit worried,” the young German told Indian newspaper the Hindustan Times
. “We have just eight days to test the car – four in Jerez and four in Barcelona. We will try and make the most of it.”
Those sentiments were echoed by three-time grand prix-winner Fisichella, who after seeing the new car receive its shakedown during a private session at Silverstone yesterday (Wednesday), enthused that he is eager to get behind the wheel for himself in southern Spain next week – even if he too is nervous about the lack of preparation time left before the season gets underway Down Under.
“I'm itching to drive it,” underlined the Italian, a veteran of some 212 grand prix starts.