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Force India: Caterham and Marussia collapses delayed 2015 preparations

ESPN Staff
February 10, 2015 « Mercedes hopes for Hamilton deal by Melbourne | Button to kick off Barcelona test for McLaren »
Force India's season has been limited to a livery launch in January © Force India

Force India team principal Bob Fernley says the team's decision to miss the first two tests of 2015 is an indirect result of the collapse of both Caterham and Marussia.

Last week Force India used its Strategy Group veto to block Marussia's planned return to the 2015 grid under the guise of Manor Racing. Fernley explained the team's reasoning behind the move as a concern over the lack of documentation Marussia provided.

There are currently concerns surrounding Force India's future on the grid, after the team missed the Jerez test and then announced it would skip the opening four days in Barcelona next week. Fernley says Force India's preparations were hurt by the collapse of the minnows, which both went into administration last October.

"As you know we've recently started working with Toyota's wind tunnel at their facility in Cologne," Fernley told the Press Association. "However, the Toyota people had agreements with Caterham, and quite rightly until they could resolve their Caterham issues we could not move in with our contract. We didn't get the go-ahead until early December, so we were behind schedule before we had even started.

"On top of that we've had a few issues with suppliers because they've obviously been hurt very badly by the Marussia and Caterham demises. They wanted payments up front which hurt us cash-flow wise, and for one minute I don't blame the suppliers at all. I would do exactly the same if my financial position had been hurt very badly. But it hasn't helped us and has meant we've had a few slow downs in different areas."

Despite this, Fernley is confident Force India will be back in time for the third and final test at the end of February.

"Is it perfect? No it isn't, but will we get through? Yes, we will. It is only cash flow at the end of the day. It's not that the budget isn't there, which is the same thing every year.Normally we can get through by working with the suppliers, but this year we couldn't do that, so it has slowed us down a little."

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