Force India team principal Vijay Mallya has admitted that his team arrives in Australia on the backfoot, having racked up only two-and-a-half days of mileage with their 2015 F1 car.
With severe cash-flow issues, the VJM08 only saw the light of the day during the second day of the final pre-season in Barcelona. This puts the Silverstone based outfit at a significant disadvantage to all other teams bar Manor who have been running their cars since day 1 in Jerez.
“As for our hopes in Melbourne, it’s difficult to make a prediction,’’ Mallya was quoted in Force India’s Australian GP preview press release. “In terms of mileage we are clearly behind the other teams so there is some ground to make up. Equally, the performance work we could do in Barcelona was quite limited.”
“Until we run in qualifying trim and race conditions it’s hard to know where we are in terms of competitiveness. What I do know is that we will give it our best shot to come away with a result,’’ he added.
The 59 year old, however, complemented the efforts put in by his staff to ensure the car ran reliably during its limited running.
“When the VJM08 appeared in Barcelona it ran reliably from the very first moment and didn’t miss a beat during its 365 laps. To deliver such a solid performance out of the box was a fantastic achievement from everyone in the team and will stand us in good stead for the first race,’’ he added.