Force India F1 will not debut its 2011 challenger until the second of the four pre-season group tests at Jerez in southern Spain, the team has confirmed – meaning it will continue to run with the 2010-spec VJM03 in the first outing in Valencia at the beginning of next month.
Whilst the majority of competitors are planning to launch their new contenders in time for the three-day Valencia test, FIF1 will not do so until Jerez – meaning the Silverstone-based squad is following the regular example of defending double world champions' Red Bull Racing in delaying the introduction of its car to allow for the maximum amount of development time.
“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
. “The team will participate in all four pre-season tests, and we will use the VJM03 for the first test in Valencia before the VJM04 makes its test debut at Jerez the following week.
“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. 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.”