Coin toss to decide which driver gets Force India F1 B-spec debut

Force India hopes to have one of its B-spec Formula 1 cars ready for the Austrian Grand Prix - with a flip of a coin to decide which driver will race it

Sergio Perez suggested this week the team's new car would not make its debut until the subsequent race at Silverstone in early July, potentially a fortnight later than planned as Austria had always been earmarked for its first run.

The plan now, if all goes well with development and providing crash tests are passed, is for one car to be on track at Spielberg.

"It will be one car because first of all we have to make sure it works because it has to go through a new crash test, and it's obviously a chassis adjustment," deputy team principal Bob Fernley told AUTOSPORT.

"Whether we get one car out for the grand prix in Austria, I'm not sure, but it will certainly be there for the test at that circuit in the days that follow.

"The idea is we push forward with production, we get the crash test out of the way and if everything is fine then clearly we will want to run the car in the race if we can.

"If that is not feasible for various reasons then we go straight to the test and run it in the test.

"The idea then is the other car will be modified and ready to head to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix, with both cars in B-spec format."

As to whether Hulkenberg or Perez takes up the reins should the car be ready for the race, Fernley added: "Probably at the end of the day it will come down to the flip of a coin so it is completely equal for both drivers.

"There is not necessarily an advantage to be starting off in the car because to dial it in requires quite a lot of work. To put miles on it will be helpful, though."

Fernley is already greatly encouraged from what he has seen of the car in the windtunnel.

"The numbers look very promising indeed," he added.

"I'm optimistic it will put us back into a competitive situation with the other midfield teams, hopefully top end.

"So far we have had four races and we are only a point adrift on three of our competitors, and five on one other.

"If we can continue to perform like that over the next three races it will give us the opportunity to bolt on the B-spec, and then hopefully we will be back in the mix again competitively."

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