Jan.9 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Force India’s 2012 car is scheduled to make its debut at the opening test of the pre-season at Jerez early next month.

Technical director Andrew Green revealed that the Mercedes-powered VJM05 has successfully passed the mandatory FIA crash tests.

For the first time from 2012, teams must meet the governing body’s requirements before their new cars can be run at the official winter tests.

“It’s been a little bit tougher this year,” Green said, “so there was a little bit of extra planning involved to get that sorted.

“The chassis has been homologated since December,” he revealed.

Force India finished the 2011 championship in sixth place, behind Renault/Lotus and the four biggest teams.

Driver Paul di Resta said he is expecting more for his second F1 season in 2012.

“It will be difficult but we have got ourselves prepared for a podium,” he told the Express newspaper.

The Jerez test kicks off on February 7.