Sahara Force India is next up to reveal its 2017 challenger – the VJM10 premieres tomorrow – but it has come out today and released its plans for who will run when in said challenger.
Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon will have one full day apiece at the first test and then split the last day, with Alfonso Celis Jr. continuing his role with the team and set to run on day three of the opening test.
Ocon and Perez will then alternate for the second test, with Ocon on days one and three and Perez days two and four.
Ocon’s tested for Force India before but this will mark his first running as an official Force India driver. The impressive French driver shifts to the Mercedes-powered Force India entry after a successful second half of the year with Manor.
Perez, meanwhile, helped spearhead Force India’s climb to fourth in the Constructor’s Championship last year, the team’s best result since its 2008 debut.
Sahara Force India – Barcelona Test Schedule
February 27 – Sergio Perez
February 28 – Esteban Ocon
March 1 – Alfonso Celis Jr.
March 2 – Sergio Perez/Esteban Ocon
March 7 – Esteban Ocon
March 8 – Sergio Perez
March 9 – Esteban Ocon
March 10 – Sergio Perez
Formula One’s “Flying Finn” is going back home for the first time.
More precisely, Valtteri Bottas is returning to his Finland homeland to compete in his first career rally race in the Finnish Rally Championship season opener.
Bottas, teammates on the F1 Mercedes team with five-time champ Lewis Hamilton, will compete in the World Rally Championships’ Arctic Lapland Rally from January 24-26.
He’ll team with two-time World Rally champion Timo Rautiainen in a M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC on rally roads of the Finnish Arctic Circle.
“This is a unique opportunity to take a peek into the world of rallying,” Bottas told Finnish rallying website Rallism.f1. “I would like to thank everyone who has made it possible.
“It’s totally new territory for me too, as I have no prior experience of a World Rally Car. Still, being the race car driver that I am, you always go flat out whatever the vehicle you’re driving in.”
Added Rautiainen, “In my life, I’ve sat in a rally car with only three drivers, but this is such an interesting mission that I just had to accept the challenge. I believe that for a talented wheelman like Valtteri, we’ll be able to establish a good basic driving routine in testing.”