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Force India to flip coin over new F1 car

2015-05-09 10:11

WHO WILL RACE THE NEW CAR? Force India will decide whether Sergio Perez or Nico Hulkenberg will be the first to race its upgraded F1 car. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez

BARCELONA, Spain - Force India may have to flick a coin to decide whether Sergio Perez or Nico Hulkenberg will be first to race its upgraded Formula 1 car.

Deputy principal Bob Fernley told Reuters ahead of the 2015 Spanish GP on Friday (May 8) that the team hoped to get the long-awaited 'B-specification' car on track in time for the race in Austria on June 21.

However, there may be only one car ready due to the need for crash tests.

NEW FORCE INDIA CAR

Fernley said: "At the moment it's on schedule for the race (in Austria) - at least one car. But if not the race, the test (also in Austria the week after).

"If it's on the race, it will be a flick of a coin. It will be completely fair... if we can deliver a car it would be beneficial to both drivers to get it out for the Austrian race weekend just to give us a head start."

Force India started the season on the back foot due to cash-flow problems that delayed the build and restricted parts from suppliers. The current race cars did not make their track debut until the third and final pre-season test in Barcelona in March 2015, two weeks before the first race in Australia.

The  team is currently eighth overall, with 11 points from the first four races, a point behind Lotus and Toro Rosso and eight behind fifth-placed Sauber.

Fernley said the basic chassis and suspension of the current car were new for 2015 but the B-spec one would have revised aerodynamics. "We've run the same car since Barcelona -  effectively. I think the team's done a great job."

MONEY WOES

Force India's two major co-owners are Indian drinks tycoon Vijay Mallya and jailed Sahara Group chairman Subrata Roy.

Each has hit trouble in India with a consortium of largely state-run Indian banks seeking repayment of loans equivalent to more than R11-billion from Mallya's failed Kingfisher airline which has not flown since 2012.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2015 Formula 1 series.


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