With testing in Jerez just a few days away, Force India have announced they’ll be giving the entire event a miss this year in order to focus their resources on other things. Over the last few years, small teams have skipped all pre-season tests altogether due to the expense of testing but Force India says that’s not the reason telling Sky Sports F1:
“We’ve never really been a big fan of Jerez as a test track. It’s very unique – the asphalt is very unique – we don’t race there and Pirelli are bringing the tyre that we tested in Abu Dhabi,” he said.
“We’re happy to give it a miss, to be honest, and take the development time.”
That’s actually the first time I’ve heard a candid commentary about the testing at Jerez if I’m honest. On further reflection, you’d have to agree that it is a bit odd as the series doesn’t race there and if the asphalt is a unique character and Pirelli aren’t coming with race tires for 205, necessarily, then one wonders just how effective that test might be other than a shakedown of the new cars.
Therein lies the problem because as much as we ponder the veracity of Jerez, chances are the team might not be ready for the test with their 2015 challenger. That’s not unusual as even Red Bull are struggling to get their car ready for the test as team boss Christian Horner said:
“No not yet,” Horner said when asked if the car was ready.
“We are flat out into car build at the moment, this is probably the shortest production and assembly time in our 10 seasons – it is unbelievable what the factory have turned around so far. So there is still plenty to do before Sunday.”
Last year the teams tested in the Middle East and felt that the more consistent and warmer weather would be a benefit but after the program and talk of costs involved, teams then returned to Jerez as it is less expensive to test there only to have force India suggest that it’s not a very good test platform for F1. It’s hard to make everyone happy but perhaps there is an element of sour grapes here?
Hat Tip: Sky Sports F1