Force India belatedly reveal VJM08 car ahead of debut at final Barcelona test
New car set to run on final three days of pre-season testing
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 16/03/15 2:26pm
Force India have finally released an image of their 2015 car, with the team expecting the VJM08 to run for the first time at Barcelona on Friday.
Of the nine teams confirmed as competing in the new season, Force India are the only one yet to test their all-new challenger with a combination of issues with suppliers and a switch to a new wind tunnel resulting in a delayed launch of the car.
The team opted to miss the first test at Jerez entirely and then ran with their 2014 car in last week's Barcelona sessions, completing 304 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya as they evaluated Pirelli's 2015 tyres.
Ahead of the final pre-season test which begins at Barcelona on Thursday, Force India have now released the first image of the VJM08 and confirmed the car will arrive in Spain on the second day of running.
"The VJM08 will arrive in Barcelona on Friday morning and the final set up will take place in the garage at the track," Force India's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said.
"We are aiming to get out on Friday and the new car will run as much as possible over the weekend."
Forced to deny speculation in recent weeks that their participation in next month’s season-opening Australian GP could be in doubt, Szafnauer adds that team’s engineers have been flat-out working on the VJM08 at their Silverstone base.
"It has progressed well over the last few days and the car has now been fired up at the factory. That’s always the key moment when the car truly comes to life," he said.
"We have seen a tremendous effort from every department over the last few months to get us to this stage and we’re looking forward to seeing the car take to the track later this week."
Although the team unveiled their newly "aggressive" livery for 2015 back in January, the first rendered image of the VJM08 reveals a shorter nose design than seen before. Force India are once again powered by Mercedes engines in 2015 and will field drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.