Force India says it is unlikely to be challenging towards the front of the F1 field again until the middle of the season as it continues a transition to Germany for the use of a new wind tunnel.

The team has been on the back foot so far this year after being forced to delay the launch its new VJM08, leaving it with just two days of pre-season testing mileage.

Furthermore, a decision to move from its own wind tunnel in Brackley to Toyota's state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Germany has prompted a restructure of the aero department, one that Bob Fernley believes is beneficial in the long run, if disruptive in the short-term.

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"I think what we've got to look at is where Force India was at the end of last year and we had a choice to make between staying with our own wind tunnel in Brackley, which is a relatively old tunnel with a 50 per cent model, or restructuring the whole aero department and moving forward.

"Fortunately for us we've got Vijay there to support the team and he made the decision that we would move forward and we've restructured the aero.

Indeed, though Fernley says the team is now set up in Germany, it means Force India has 'taken a step backwards' that could take it the first-half of the 2015 F1 season to recover.

"We're now working exclusively in Cologne with the Toyota wind tunnel, we've upgraded the CFD. Unfortunately in that process there's a slight step backwards and I don't think we will see really Force India coming to the front again until probably mid-season."

Force India enjoyed a surprise double points' scoring start to the season in Australia with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, but failed to score in Malaysia.