F1 : Force India to use old car in 1st Test
Force India's 2011 car will not hit the track until the second test at Jerez, meaning the team will turn up to the opening test on February 1 with last year's car.
The introduction of new Pirelli tyres in 2011 means every mile of testing is crucial for the teams, but Force India believes more can be gained by developing its new car away from the track in the first week of February.
"We've carefully considered our plans for the start of the season and the introduction of the new Force India, the VJM04," chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer told Reuters. "The team will participate in all four pre-season tests and we will use the VJM03 for the first test in Valencia before the VJM04 makes its test debut in Jerez the following week."
Force India skipped last season's first test altogether along with eventual champions Red Bull, as both focused on wind tunnel work in the UK. Szafnauer said this year's decision was based on similar reasoning, although using the 2010 car in Valencia will still allow the team and drivers to sample the new Pirelli tyres.
"Starting a test later with the new car gives us a couple of weeks more wind tunnel time when we are at our most productive to get the parts released for the new car," he added. "There is always a trade-off between running the car early and getting increased information for the aero department and we believe it will work to our advantage, given our size and resources."
HRT is also expected to run its 2010 car at the first test in Valencia.