Force India on pace to have new F1 car at first test

© XPB 

Force India is confident it is on schedule to have its new-for-2016 Formula One challenger ready to take part in the opening pre-season test in Barcelona.

Vijay Mallya's team experienced a troubled off-season 12 months ago when switching windtunnels and financial troubles forced it to skip the first session in Jerez altogether.

Force India then ran its 2014-spec charger at the second test before launching the VJM08 during the final group running. Still, it was not until halfway through the 2015 campaign, when a heavily upgraded version of the car was introduced, that the outfit hit its stride.

Force India then went on securing a series of strong points finishes – including one podium in Russia – to claim its best result to date in the Constructors’ championship with fifth.

This year’s pre-season testing has been slashed to eight days from 12 last winter, with both four-day sessions taking place from February 22-25 and March 1-4 at the Spanish Grand Prix venue.

“Our winter programme is progressing well and we will be attending both Barcelona test sessions,” a Force India spokesperson told

Although most teams are expected to have their new car ready from the onset despite tighter deadlines, Sauber has already confirmed it will only roll out its C35 at the second test.

Force India has retained Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez for 2016, but the team ran Mercedes junior drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Ocon as well as GP3 race winner Nick Yelloly on various testing occasions last year.

Feature: Red Bull's coolest show runs

Key dates for the 2016 F1 season

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter