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Force India Launch New Car – VJM03

by F1Fan on February 9, 2010

Force India unveiled it’s it’s new car for the 2010 Formula One season today. Making use of what is becoming a preferred medium, the Internet the team launched the VJM03 from its Website.

Last season Force India became a regular points contender and the team is hoping that the VJM03 will build on the foundation established by its predecessor, which took pole for the Belgian GP and finished a close second loosing out to the KERS equipped Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in the closing laps of the race.

Force India has stayed with the same drivers that the team was using at the end of the2009 season, namely Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi and recently added Paul di Resta, the talented Mercedes DTM driver in the role as test and reserve driver.

In a prepared statement for the VJM03 launch Dr Vijay Maliya talked about the Teams goals for 2010:

“Our goal is to continue on the same path of performance improvement that we had at the end of 2009. I don’t think I am being over-proud when I say 2009 was an exceptional year for us. The bare statistics say it all: one podium, one pole position, one fastest lap, a further five top 10 starts and 13 points. We’ve learnt from our experiences and we’ve come out a better team: resilient, resourceful and now resurgent. I hope 2010 will see this great progress carrying forward. We’ve got one podium so far but I would hope that, this time next year, I’m talking about more points and more podiums. I’m confident we can get this, why not aim high?”

Force India Design director Mark Smith, explaining the design challenges that had to be accommodated due to the rule changes introduced this season, including the requirement for a larger fuel tank as a result of the refuelling ban and a switch to narrower front tyres commented:

“The VJM03 is definitely an evolution of the VJM02 in terms of the design philosophies we have developed at Force India over the last year. We are very happy with the direction, therefore we have opted to evolve the car rather than significantly revise.

Obviously one of the major aspects we have had to contend with are regulation changes which have had a considerable impact on some aspects of the design of the car. The removal of refuelling from races increases the amount of fuel needed to be stored in the cars – almost twice the amount we ran in 2009. There is a compromise now: either make the car much longer or wider, or, as we have done, a combination of both. This of course has influenced the mechanical design solutions and also the aerodynamics, specifically with respects to the diffuser and bodywork.

Even with the ban of double diffusers for 2011, we recognise that we still have to push as much as we possibly can in this area in 2010 as we have targets to meet and the double diffuser is a key development aspect of the car.

Last year’s VJM02 was noticeably quicker on the low down-force circuits, however Mark is confident that this year the VJM03 will be strong across the board: ‘The VJM02 was a relatively low drag car that showed well on the low down-force tracks. As was demonstrated throughout 2009, that was a useful attribute but as we go into 2010 we have tried to maintain a high level of aerodynamic efficiency, but we recognise that our championship position will be enhanced by a general level of performance that is suited to all types of circuits. We have, we believe, quite an efficient car overall.”

The VJM03 makes its official testing debut tomorrow, 10 February at the Jerez circuit in Spain. Tonio Liuzzi will be on driving duties for the first two days before Adrian Sutil takes over on 12 February for a further two days. Paul di Resta will step into the car at the next test later this month on the 17th in Jerez.

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