Team hopes that reliable testing performance is a pointer towards a strong display in Melbourne this weekend.
Force India team boss Vijay Mallya is upbeat about the squad’s prospects for 2015 despite the financial squeeze that the team has faced over the winter.
The new Mercedes-powered VJM08 appeared late after the team struggled to pay suppliers in order to assemble its car on time for the opening pre-season tests.
“It’s no secret that we have faced some delays and challenges over the winter, but we’ve put that behind us and can now focus on the racing,” said Mallya. “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."
The team hopes that the continuity of drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez, plus the experience gained with the Mercedes engine last year, will keep it towards the first half of the grid.
“As for our hopes in Melbourne, it’s difficult to make a prediction," added Mallya. "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.”