Sahara Force India F1 Team launches VJM06 at Silverstone
Force India F1 Team today launched its 2013 F1 challenger designated the VJM06 at a chilly Silverstone circuit. The new car does not feature the stepped nose so unpopular on last years cars. The VJM06 was given a single shakedown lap of the circuit after the unveiling ceremony driven by Paul Di Resta. Force India has yet to name its second driver and when pressed for details today inferred that it was unlikely an announcement would be made until the Barcelona F1 test.
Technical Director Andrew Green spoke about the new car and indicated that developments were halted from just after mid season last year to introduce stability to the platform and to enable the team to refine the car and really dial it in. He said “We focussed on trying to understand what the car was doing, where it differed from our models and, importantly how we worked the tyres. We used that extra knowledge for this years car and it helped quite a lot”.
He went on to explain that although the new car is a ground up redesign it is evolutionary rather than revolutionary and this is in part due to the stability of the regulations. On the subject of the new nose complete with fairing to hide last years he said it was neutral in terms of performance but did tidy up the airflow over the top of the chassis.
Regarding winter testing Green indicated that the changes to the Pirelli tyres would present a big challenge and provide the main area of focus for the team to try to understand them before the season starts in Australia. He did say though that the suspension of the new car has been tuned for what was learned on the tyres last year so is configured differently with the changes aimed at better complementing them. He also said that the rear suspension is quite different and that for aerodynamic reasons the whole thing has been lifted up to allow the airflow under the lower rear wishbones.
In a team press release Dr Vijay Mallya confirmed that the team is looking for land to build a state of the art wind tunnel and that greater CFD capacity for 2013 was already in place. He said the team was targeting podiums this year and that its first objective was to hit the ground running and have a strong start to the season, something that’s been a weakness for the last couple of years. On the teams second driver he said “We had a shortlist and have considered every driver who is available. We are very close to making our decision and I can assure you that we will arrive in Australia with one of the most exciting pairings on the grid”
There was good news from the team on the commercial front with two new partnerships announced, the first with TW Steel Watches now official timing partner to the team and secondly with Chatham Marine the UK’s leading boat shoes manufacturer. Both partnerships will lead to branded items from the team with TW Steel scheduled to produce an official team watch range for retail worldwide and Chatham to produce a Sahara Force India branded shoe specially designed for the global retail market. 01022013