Force India rules out using old car at first Jerez test

2015 F1 season

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Force India is unlikely to appear at the first test of 2015 at Jerez which starts in four days’ time.

An announcement by the team on Twitter indicated they had abandoned plans to use their old car at the test instead of the new chassis, which is not ready yet.

“We have chosen not to run the old (2014) car in Jerez,” it stated. “The learning opportunities would have been limited so the focus is now on Barcelona,” it added.

The second test at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona starts on February 19th.

Force India revealed a new livery for the forthcoming VJM08 at an event in Mexico City last week. However the team’s new car is yet to be seen.

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Keith Collantine
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28 comments on “Force India rules out using old car at first Jerez test”

  1. Call me a cynic but despite the spin it’s hard to believe that it isn’t a lack of funds which is at the root of the late development of the VJM08 and, as a consequence, the decision to give up a third of the limited pre-season testing which is permitted these days.

    Very reminiscent of Lotus’ decision last year. Force India fans will be hoping that’s not an omen.

    1. @tdog Well, Mallya is under more financial pressure than ever. But why fly out to Mexico for a livery launch and then abandon a test?

      1. Surely a simple livery launch with an old car to please your most important sponsor and to introduce new ones from the same region along with your Mexican driver is far far cheaper than going testing with a new one.

        1. Also its a waste of time. The challenge this year isn’t as big as last year and jerez is a weird track with regards to asphalt. Reliability isn’t that big of an issue and cooling is under control.

        2. Well, exactly. You only do it if it is absolutely necessary. Considering that we have two teams struggling and only one potential saviour (Renault?), I’m surprised that 3-car team discussion hasn’t started popping up again. 8 teams at Jerez? Perfect for a 24 car grid, if the other teams haven’t survived when F1 returns to Bahrain..

    2. The reason is that we are spending more time in Cologne getting the aero right this time. And as Andrew Green said Jerez is a unique track and its not on the calendar. So good enough reason to stay out and work on the aero a bit more. That might give us the edge on Lotus or Mclaren who might challenge for P5 in the constructors this year.

      1. @graywizzard forgive me, I have heard before why missing the first test isn’t so bad –

        We already said a month ago that it is going to be tight. Actually most of the teams agreed it was going to be tight. Then it was a decision we took. It is true the car will not be ready on time, but we will be ready shortly after that – and in some ways, it is not bad because we will have time to watch what the others are doing and nobody will be able to watch what we are doing.

        1. @tdog I saw interview of Andrew Green by Sky Sports i think and he stated the team wants to devote more time to wind tunnel.

          1. If that is the case, it may well be that the increased development time could be more beneficial than testing – Red Bull deliberately skipped the first test in 2010 in order to extent the development time of the RB10, and that seemed to have a positive impact on their development.

            Equally, back in 2012 Lotus were forced to withdraw from the first test due to a chassis defect that caused problems with the suspension mounts – arguably a much more disruptive process given that Lotus had to modify their chassis between tests – and the E20 still proved to be a pretty solidly competitive car.

            It depends on the full context of what is going on, but I wouldn’t automatically say that it is a bad thing – in fact, it could well be that it turns out to have a net positive impact in the longer run.

      2. Hope….Dont get me wrong…being hopeful is a good thing. The problem arises when you cannot longer distinguish dreams from reality. You are convincing yourself that is good for Force India to miss the first Test…….

    3. Force India did push development into late 2014 due to their fight with McLaren, and as they don’t have the budget or number of staff as the big boys, their 2015 development got pushed back.

      Missing Jerez this year isn’t much of a problem in my opinion, especially as FI are running a Merc PU. They know they have the reliability, and due to the strange nature of Jerez with its highly abrasive tarmac, tyre data won’t be as useful as Barcelona. I think that FI will be fine, and are making the right decision to not go to the first test.

  2. I’m with you on that train of thought. Q: Why won’t you be at Jerez? A: We’re late developing the car, it won’t be much use to go with the old. Q: Why are you late developing the car? A: …

    I vote money issues. That said they did manage to get some new sponsors onto the car in Mexico at least.

    1. They still got the best engine, no worries from my side.

      1. The problem is that Mercedes AMG, Lotus and Williams have the same Engine too. They’ll be the worst Mercedes powered team for sure. I always count on RedBull. Mc Laren Honda might be competitive….that might make Force India drop to 7th or 8th place.

  3. Oh dear…Let’s hope they don’t do a Lotus. Force India were actually quite poor last year. If everybody had the same engine, Force India would be behind Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren, Toro Rosso and possibly Sauber. Considering in the last few races they were mixing with the Saubers on pace. Also worrying in the development of Force India. Bar 2009 and possibly 2012, the car they started the season with was much more competitive than the car it ended the season with

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      28th January 2015, 13:14

      It’s impossible to know what this means really. As other have said, missing Jerez doesn’t mean a lot as the cars and systems are just an upgrade instead of a whole design and the track isn’t on the calendar.

      They will be slightly behind because they’ll have to spend a day at Barcelona running system checks and if they do run into problems that costs them a few days, they are really up against it.

      Having said that, if they know that everything isn’t quite ready yet and they wouldn’t learn anything by going to Jerez, they are making the right decision. There’s no point in wasting 4 days using last year’s car if they’re already behind on delivering the 2015 one!

    2. Last year poor? In the begin they were good, then some in the middle they made a mistake untill the last few races they corrected the fault (AERO) and they became competive again!

    3. I do see what you are saying somewhat @mashiat2, but don’t understand how last year showed them to be behind Torro Rosso or Sauber, or much behind McLaren at all – apart from a few races in the 2nd half of the season, where they found they went wrong way on development; they were faster than Ferrari at times. Lotus might be back with the better engine this year, McLaren could be a lot better, or quite a bit worse, while Ferrari remains to be seen. If they can pick up where they were around halfway last year and improve, they remain on track.

  4. Something is smelling fishy for me.
    Force India is trying to make me believe is actually “good” for them to miss Jerez tests. Come on!
    Money is getting tight. That’s MHO.
    Why does HUL have a signed contract to run 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans in a third factory-backed Porsche 919 Hybrid. He will also contest the Spa-Francorchamps round of the World Endurance Championship as preparation???? He knows he might not end up 2015 driving a F1 car.

    This is a totally different approach to a financial crisis. Sauber is struggling, but at least is honest and don’t treat fans as dumb.

    1. I just discovered this Article (Finnish, tried to decipher with translator) that it seems FI were supposed to get money to have Sirotkin as 3rd driver with about half of the FP1 this season but had to axe this test as the money never arrived @mumito

  5. Pretty sure that money issues are the core of it. If there was enough money to do things, they could learn a lot by participating. If money is in short supply, then it makes sense to rather skip the test and spend it elsewhere

    1. they could learn a lot by participating

      @bascb, Please tell us, what could they learn by participating with their 2014 car, the 2014 engine, 2014 tires on a non-typical track? They could give some 3rd driver a bit of experience, but honestly it’s hardly worth the money. I think it makes sense to keep their engineers/mechanics at the factory working on their 2015 car, rather then sending them to Spain.

      1. I must have missed the info about Pirelli bringing only old spec tyres with them @me4me.

        But track time can always be used to develop / try out things etc. I agree with you that given the constraints there, I understand why they rather stay at home and save a bit of money. I doubt they would if they had enough money though.

  6. Even Red Bull are marginal on time so I think it’s most likely positive and clear-sighted. They won’t even have 2015 tyres at Jerez nor a 2015 engine so it’s just a shakedown really, on a weird surface, so skipping it looks good trade-off for more development time.

  7. Yes save money for a last upgrade at end of season, and also keep that nose discovery out of sight a bit longer ! Would be a waste to do a Mclaren-honda 3 lap test with trouble shooting 2015 unit, other teams can get that square out in trade go air tunnel fine tuning. I hope !

  8. “We have chosen not to run the old (2014) car in Jerez,” it stated. “The learning opportunities would have been limited so the focus is now on Barcelona,” it added.

    Surely that would have been obvious before today, when they’d already stated they planned to run the old car in Jerez.

  9. It seems like they have some problems… It’s not good.

    1. Every body is under the pump , Red Bull are not ready yet,

      I think its fine, only those with the cash to splash will test I’m guessing.

      I sure hope that these hardworking folks got some family time for xmas .

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