Force India are planning to run their new Formula One car for the first time at Barcelona late next month, just a few weeks before the first race of the season in Melbourne.
On February 7th, Force India will unveil their new livery and sponsorship package in Mumbai, with the car making it s track debut on February 25th with a three day test at Barcelona. Although the team are not expecting to challenge for wins, they are hoping that the new car is a significant improvement on 2007 s and that in two years time, they can start to challenge for podiums.
“We now have to work to make India proud of it s team,â€ team owner Vijay Mallya explained. “We have to however be realistic there will be no miracle performance in 2008. Even with significantly more input and aero development, all of this takes time.
“From 2009 onwards, I am looking forward to obviously significant improvements. I am clear where we want to be in two years time at the Indian Grand Prix in 2010, I want to see a Force India car on the podium.â€
Driver Giancarlo Fisichella is happy with the progress that the team have made so far on the last day of testing, he was just 1.8 seconds behind fastest man Kimi Raikkonen and Fisichella believes he could have been closer had a small mechanical problem not stopped him from completing a new tyre run.
“It was a good day today and we were able to complete the programme,â€ Fisichella explained. “Apart from the small problem at the end, there were no issues and we could see we were getting closer to the others. We did some set-up work, got some more understanding of the dampers and made some changes to the ride height, which made the car a lot more consistent.
“Even with lots of fuel and scrubbed tyres we were closer to the other teams it would have been interesting to see how close we got but we are definitely making progress in the right direction. I am pleased with how it is going.â€