Force India’s drivers are expecting a difficult start to the 2015 season.
The Silverstone based team ended last year on a competitive high, not far behind another similarly Mercedes-powered but much better funded team, McLaren.
But behind the scenes, there was trouble. Along with Lotus and Sauber, the team was complaining loudly about the sport’s income model, and over the winter the reasons for Force India’s worries became clear.
Due to financial and supplier trouble, the new car for 2015 was badly delayed, and in fact only made its debut at the tail end of the final Barcelona test last week.
“We are on the back foot now,” admitted German driver Nico Hulkenberg, “so the other teams are a few steps ahead of us.”
Teammate Sergio Perez added: “Going into the season with only one day of testing in the new car is definitely not ideal.”
Indeed, while Hulkenberg debuted the VJM08 last Friday and drove again on Saturday, Mexican Perez only made his bow on Sunday as the winter season ended.
“I am really hoping for a good start,” he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport, “but it will be difficult.
“From the third or fourth race we want to be fighting for the points.” (GMM)