Force India 'will be in Melbourne' for F1 season start

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Force India
Force India were one of three smaller teams who complained that F1's revenue split made it hard for them to survive financially

Force India insist that there is no chance they could miss the start of the season despite serious delays in the preparation of their new car.

The team missed this week's first pre-season test in Jerez and now say it is unlikely their 2015 car will be ready for the next session.

But a spokesman said that the team would be in Barcelona from 19-22 February, probably in their 2014 car.

He said there was "no truth" in claims they would miss Australia's first race.

"We will be at the first Barcelona test, even if it is with the 2014 car, and we will be in Melbourne," he said.

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Force India say they are still trying to get the new car, the VJM08, ready for the first of two Barcelona tests, but that they "wouldn't want to say it will be there 100%. It's more likely it will be at the final test."

The last pre-season test runs from 26 February to 1 March and the first race is on 15 March,

The spokesman would not comment on claims by sources that the team had been late paying some suppliers.

He said production delays had hampered the team's preparations.

These were problems at the company that makes the carbon-fibre chassis for the team, insiders say, which have meant that its delivery to the team was delayed.