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FIF1: Good reasons for missing Valencia test.

New Force India COO Otmar Szafnauer looks ahead to a promising F1 season for the emerging operation.

As was the case with Red Bull Racing, Force India F1 has claimed that there was more to be gained from missing the opening Formula One test of 2010 than there was from rushing to be there.

Last season's other surprise package - nothing could have forewarned of Brawn's stellar campaign - heads into its third season after taking over from Spyker full of optimism after not only claiming its first F1 points, but also a maiden pole and podium in 2009, courtesy of the now-departed Giancarlo Fisichella. With the wraps coming off the VJM03 ahead of this week's Jerez group test, chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer insisted that dodging the previous outing at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo was a measured move.


"It was a strategic decision," he maintained in an interview with the team website, having witnessed the car being shaken down a little closer to home, at Silverstone, following its online launch, "By missing the first test, we can gain a little bit more development time - a little bit longer in the [wind] tunnel, a little bit longer thinking about what's important on the car. It was just a trade-off decision. We completed a shakedown day, before the [Jerez] testing started, that regains a little bit of what we've lost."

With Fisichella having followed his Spa exploits by jumping at the chance to effectively end his F1 racing career in the scarlet of Ferrari, Force India starts the 2010 campaign with an unchanged driver line-up, having drafted Vitantonio Liuzzi in alongside stalwart Adrian Sutil from Monza onwards. Stability there matches that elsewhere in the company, something that Szafnauer believes will only help the team going forward.

"I think stability does produce results," he noted, "That's not to say you shouldn't change and improve as, clearly, you should, but huge upheavals never help. If you can have stability with the right people pulling in the same direction, you're much better off. Fortunately, we have that here.

"I like the atmosphere in the team. With half the people of a big team, we design a good car and the wind tunnel guys do a very good job in getting the numbers that are required. You just don't have the time or resources available to waste, so you just get on with the job.

"Adrian is a great asset. He's very talented, and he's fast and fearless, and he'll gain from the experience he now has. If Tonio can learn from last year, and his confidence is up knowing that he's got a regular seat now, he has great potential."

New signing Paul di Resta also came in for praise from the COO, following his decision to sign a reserve and testing agreement prior to the launch of the VJM03.

"He's a young driver with a lot of potential, and we're going to work with him to maximise that potential, and that should be to the benefit of this team" Szafnauer said, "He can help us in simulator testing, and he should be doing some Friday testing just to get familiar with the car and hone his skills. And then we'll see about the future..."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
2010 Force India-Mercedes VJM03 [pic credit: Force India F1]
[L-R]: Adrian Sutil, Paul di Resta and Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India F1 [pic credit: Force India F1]
Otmar Szafnauer, Force India F1 CEO [pic credit: Force India F1]
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
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,  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 - Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorspor Director
27.11.2016 - Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorspor Director
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

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