NO-SHOW AT BARCELONA? Drivers Sergio Perez (right) and Nico Hulkenberg with Force India's 2015 car during a media event in Mexico City. Force India, absent in Jerez, won't tests its VJM08 car in Barcelona. Image: AP / Eduardo Verdugo
LONDON, England - Force India is reportedly hard at work preparing its 2015 Formula 1 car.
It had been rumoured that, due to financial and supplier troubles, the team had not taken delivery of the monocoque for its new VJM08 car, let alone passed the mandatory International Automobile Federation crash tests.
That would explain its absence during the first test at Jerez and why the team is taking its 2014 cars to Barcelona for testing in February 2015.
It's believed that, perhaps to offset unpaid bills to engine supplier Mercedes, the team's reserve driver, Pascal Wehrlein, will be at the wheel of the VJM07 in Barcelona. After that, Force India's 2015 season seems to be brighter.
Russia's Championat website reports that the car for the 2015 F1 championship, the VJM08, passed the federation's mandatory crash tests which would put the car on track to make its debut in Barcelona for the third and final test in 2015, ahead of the season-opening 2015 Australian GP on March 15.
Deputy team boss Bob Fernley was quoted by Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport as saying: "We will be in Melbourne for the start of the championship, there is no doubt about that.
"Our testing time will be limited but we are doing everything possible to arrive in Australia in a good situation and with the greatest number of kilometres behind us."