Force India races against time, to test new car in March
Racing against time to put together a machine fast enough to hover around in the mid-field, Force India remains optimistic of rolling out VJM02, its latest generation car, well in time to hit the track for the last two pre-season tests.india Updated: Jan 30, 2009 16:55 IST
Racing against time to put together a machine fast enough to hover around in the mid-field, Force India think-tank remains optimistic of rolling out VJM02, its latest generation car, well in time to hit the track for the last two pre-season tests.
Technical Director James Key said working under a tight schedule, which requires constant liaising with engine provider Mercedes and gearbox supplier McLaren, makes it an unenviable task but the new car would still hit the track early March.
"It's obviously very tight, because of what we've had to do. But the plan is to hit the last two official team tests before the season," Key said.
Team owner Vijay Mallya announced the tie-up with Mercedes and McLaren on November 10 last year, when the car had already been designed around an alternative package.
"The car was pretty much defined at that point. When everything was officially announced it was then a case of having discussions with McLaren on the gearbox and Mercedes on the engine side as we had a new set of numbers to deal with.
"Then we had to determine how compatible the existing designs were. In some areas it was fairly straightforward. Some areas of the car matched very well with the new packaging requirements we had, while in other areas it was significantly different. Effectively we have had to redesign quite a bit of the car, and starting in November, that's been quite a major undertaking," he said.
Incidentally, Force India, at least in its previous avatars, is not alien to change in engine suppliers.