Force India says it is not planning to announce its second driver in time for the launch of its 2013 car.
The Silverstone-based team is, together with Caterham, the only Formula 1 squad yet to confirm its second driver for the upcoming season. Jules Bianchi and the team's former driver Adrian Sutil are believed to be the main candidates to partner Paul di Resta.
Force India will launch its 2013 car – the Mercedes-powered VJ06 – on Feb. 1 before it begins testing at Jerez four days later. Deputy team boss Bob Fernley told AUTOSPORT on Friday, however, that the launch will not be used to announce its second driver. He commented, "The launch is to launch the VJ06," but added the lineup would be confirmed "probably before the first test".
When asked if the test might be used to evaluate drivers, he replied: "That's]very unlikely."
2013 Formula 1 lineup so far:
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
Ferrari Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
McLaren Jenson Button Sergio Perez
Lotus Kimi Raikkonen Romain Grosjean
Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Nico Rosberg
Sauber Nico Hulkenberg Esteban Gutierrez
Force India Paul di Resta seat still available
Williams Pastor Maldonado Valtteri Bottas
Toro Rosso Daniel Ricciardo Jean-Eric Vergne
Caterham Charles Pic seat still available
Marussia Timo Glock Max Chilton