Di Resta flies solo at Force India launch

SILVERSTONE Fri Feb 1, 2013 6:51pm IST

Force India Formula One driver Paul Di Resta of Britain poses for photographers during the launch of the VJM06 car at the Silverstone Race circuit, central England February 1, 2013. REUTERS/Darren Staples

Force India Formula One driver Paul Di Resta of Britain poses for photographers during the launch of the VJM06 car at the Silverstone Race circuit, central England February 1, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples

Related Topics

SILVERSTONE (Reuters) - Force India gave their new Formula One car its track debut on Friday with only one driver, Britain's Paul Di Resta, confirmed for the season and mystery surrounding the identity of his eventual team mate.

Germany's Adrian Sutil, a former Force India driver, and Ferrari-backed Frenchman Jules Bianchi, last year's reserve, have both been linked to the vacant seat but the team were in no rush to make a decision.

"Paul's here," grinned deputy team principal Bob Fernley, representing the absent aviation and liquor baron Vijay Mallya who co-owns and runs the team, when asked what the situation was with the drivers.

"The shareholders will make their decision in due course. We know who is on the short list. We are trying to put together the programmes that are going to really take the team through a longer period than just one year," he added.

"We need to be very careful where we are going and the shareholders will take as long as necessary. I suspect that we will probably announce the two remaining drivers (race and reserve)...before Barcelona".

The first of three pre-season tests is in Jerez next week with the second in Barcelona from Feb 19. The season starts in Australia on March 17.

Di Resta, who will have his third different team mate in three seasons after partnering Sutil and then Nico Hulkenberg, will do most of the Jerez testing with Britain's James Rossiter having some time in the car to provide a benchmark for the simulator work he will be doing.

The choice of second driver ultimately is likely to favour whoever can bring most sponsorship, or other forms of backing, with them.

FIRST OUT

In the absence of news, the car was the star - with the black cover coming off the VJM06 on a cold and damp morning before the Mercedes-powered car was wheeled out of the garage to be fired up for the first laps by any team this year.

It immediately stood out for its 'nose job' - a 'modesty panel' turning what was a stepped nose last season into a smooth and flowing front end.

Lotus, the first of the teams to show off their new car on Monday, eschewed such cosmetic surgery on the grounds that it was only added weight but Force India technical director Andrew Green said it was there for performance as well as aesthetics.

"Our's is purely performance driven and really the performance is not on the top of the chassis, it's what you can do underneath," said technical director Andrew Green.

"And by pushing the chassis to its limits it allows us to get the aerodynamic performance. Putting the panel on top cleans up the flow over the top of the chassis. It's a small thing but to us it's important."

Green said the car was new from the ground up, even if an evolution of the one that took the team to seventh place overall last season, with a lot of tweaks to the suspension. Di Resta said it looked sharp and felt fine on the shakedown laps.

"It's cold," the Scot declared after the first run. "But I'm very comfortable in the car.

Flying solo at the team, he said, also had its benefits.

"I'm quite enjoying the attention," said Di Resta, who will be one of four Britons on the grid this season now that rookie Max Chilton has joined Marussia.

"It's a strange feeling obviously not to have a second driver and a reserve around but it's not hampering my preparations in any way." (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tom Pilcher)

FILED UNDER:

Market Eye

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Setback For Sahara

Setback For Sahara

Supreme Court defers verdict on Sahara plea to raise more debt on hotels  Full Article 

SpiceJet Crisis

SpiceJet Crisis

SpiceJet says fleet grounded on lack of fuel  Full Article 

Drug Patents

Drug Patents

Novartis sues Cipla over respiratory drug Onbrez   Full Article 

Boost for Tata Steel

Boost for Tata Steel

Tata Steel restarts key iron mines amid shortage  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

BSE Sensex to hit 32,980 by December 2015  Full Article 

India Outlook

India Outlook

ADB trims growth forecasts for developing Asia, says India to grow 5.5 pct in 2014  Full Article 

Real Estate

Real Estate

HDFC to raise $500 mln real estate private equity fund - sources  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

Japan banks to bulk up India presence on improving ties   Full Article 

U.S. Spending Bill

U.S. Spending Bill

Obama signs bill $1.1 trillion government spending bill  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage