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Force India not worried by late debut for VJM02


Adrian Sutil's claims that he's rather have a good car that launched later than its rivals was leant some credence by Force India design director Mark Smith, who insisted that giving the VJM02 its track debut just four weeks before the first grand prix of the season would not present too many headaches.

With only Scuderia Toro Rosso still to get its hands on a 2009-spec car - despite sister team Red Bull Racing unveiling the similar RB5 at the start of February - Force India staged the penultimate launch of the season at Jerez on Sunday, 24 hours after it had made sure the new car worked in shakedown across the road from its Silverstone base.

Although veteran Giancarlo Fisichella admitted that he was disappointed with a limited amount of running as the team joined the latest group test in southern Spain, Smith insisted that the late arrival of the VJM02 would not be too big a problem.

"Ideally, you would have more testing, but it isn't a major issue," he claimed, "One of the biggest disadvantages will be knowing what the life of the new parts is. Normally, in pre-season testing, we would put more life on each part than it would be subject to under race conditions but, with only eight days, we won't be able to do this. It will just put a greater onus on rig testing and grands prix Fridays."

Smith confirmed that, with stringent regulations now governing the amount of running teams can do between races, the focus of development and problem-solving would be switched elsewhere.

"With no mid-season testing, it does make life more difficult, but you should never be in a situation where you put a part onto a car and have a doubt about it," he pointed out, "Really, you would use a test to check the reliability and the life, rather than whether it works.

"We will have eight days of testing, plus two shakedowns. The first shakedown, which took place at Silverstone on 25 February, allowed us to determine and fix any major issues, check the systems and so on, and then the Jerez test will be used to identify the aero load on the car and get some feedback on handling. Following this test, we'll see where we are, assess any outstanding problems and then try to fix a set-up for Melbourne.

"It does mean we will have to be smarter with regards to reliability and also that Fridays at a grand prix will be more valuable than ever. I think we will see real work conducted, so car set up, development and mileage rather than simple tyre comparisons. It will certainly make the weekends more exciting."

The delay in unveiling the team's second car - which was revealed bearing the colours of the Indian flag in place of last season's red, white and gold - was caused in part by the new technical partnership Force India enjoys with McLaren and Mercedes, which will see it running the German marque's engines instead of the Ferrari units it campaigned in 2008.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India-Mercedes VJM02, Jerez Test [Pic credit: Force India]
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 leads Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, David Coulthard (GBR), Mika Hakkinen (FIN), ex F1 driver and Mark Webber (AUS)
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race,  Sahara Force India mechanics
27.11.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 fans
27.11.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09

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