With just 12 days remaining until the curtain raises on another F1 pre-season, Force India have confirmed that they will not bring their 2015 challenger to the first test. With their livery set to be unveiled tomorrow, the team will keep their cards close to their chest, not placing the VJM08 onto the circuit until the first of two tests in Barcelona.
Of course, many fans may question whether this means that the team are behind schedule, yet I doubt that the the Silverstone based squad are too perturbed. Unlike Lotus last season, Force India will attend the opening test in Jerez, albeit running the 2014 specification car. Evidently, if they were finding the time limit within which to develop the VJM08 restrictive, they would surely forego attendance entirely in order to have all hands on deck at the factory. At least at face value, the Lotus situation this time last year was very different, as the team faced a troubled winter while financial issues were resolved.
Force India may want to spend some additional time in their new facility – the outfit moved their aerodynamic testing equipment to Cologne in order to use Toyota’s wind tunnel this winter. The facility is considered to be the best of its kind in the world and while it should be hugely beneficial to the team in their ambition to take the elusive P5, it may have taken days away from the 2015 project schedule. If so, such a loss would probably be nothing more than aesthetic, but nonetheless, it may have influenced the team’s decision to delay.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see if Force India continue to adorn their cars with their striking colour scheme tomorrow. What today means, is that we will have to wait a little longer to see their new challenger hit the circuit for the first time. But never fear, the RB6 missed the first test in 2010 and that particular machine turned out to be quite good…
Image Credit: "Sergio Perez 2014 Singapore FP1" By Morio (photo taken by Morio) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons