Force India launched their new 2017 car, the VJM10 at a press event at Silverstone today, the fourth launch of the season.
Launching the car at its home circuit, with its factory just a stones throw from the entry to the famous circuit, team boss Vijay Mallya introduced the launch of the new car with a number of bold statements on the expectations of the team this season.
While technically ‘punching ahead of their weight’ last season, an unexpected fourth in the World Championship, the Indian businessman saw no reason why they can’t aim even higher, even though the manufacturer teams have stated they believe this season will be an ‘arms race’ with those having the biggest resources winning. He also believes in under promising and over delivering, something that held them in good stead last year.
He said, “We don’t underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead of us, especially with the sport undergoing a huge overhaul of the technical regulations. Simply repeating our performance level of 2016 will be a big task in itself. I don’t want to set goals or targets other than to say that we intend to maintain the momentum we have built up in recent years and carry it into the new season. There are too many unknowns to say more than this.”
Although confirmed by Technical Director Andy Green as being ‘95% new’, the team have taken an innovative approach at the front of the car. The styling of the longer protruding vented nose is reminiscent of a couple of years ago, along with the bump in the at the front of the chassis where it connects to the nose, again similar to the ‘broken noses’ of a few years ago aimed at brining the height of the noses down.
Talking about the new regulations, Green said: “There is a lot more scope for aero development – that’s something that opened up the playing field considerably. It’s definitely gone against the grain of previous seasons but we are enjoying the opportunity it creates. To have all this extra freedom to look for performance is a bit of a culture shock, but it’s a very exciting time for us.
“It makes it much more fun for everyone involved. Every time we develop a new car, especially under a new set of rules, is a challenge but it’s what we do: we relish the challenge; we look forward to seeing everyone else’s solutions and discovering where we sit in the pecking order. The design of a new car always brings problems that need solving, but finding solutions is what we do every day – it’s what engineering is all about.”
It also features a large shark fin at the back, larger than the others we have seen so far, and the standard new additions for the 2017 aero regulations – the swept back rear wing, the delta front wing and the wider track.