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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.


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."


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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