Giancarlo Fisichella is expecting a difficult start to Force India's 2009 championship this weekend.

Giancarlo Fisichella is expecting a difficult start to Force India's 2009 championship this weekend.

While the Silverstone based team has been bullish about its expectations for its new collaboration with McLaren-Mercedes, the winter test programme for the 2009 car was short.

A new bodywork package and KERS system for the VJM02 single seater is not scheduled to arrive until after the initial overseas races, leading veteran Fisichella to predict a "very hard" title opener in Melbourne.

"We have tested very little, so my goal is to make a good start, stay clear of incidents and reach the finish," the Roman told the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

He does not expect Force India to be able to make much development headway during the Friday practice prior to the races.

"On the Fridays we will be working very hard to be ready for the races and to have a good setup.

"My feeling is that while later in the season we will be in a position to be in the points, in Australia we will have to be most concentrated on reliability," 36-year-old Fisichella added.