The new Force India VJM06

Force India VJM06 2013

Force India unveiled its 2013 car at the home of the British Grand Prix with the VJM06.

The Silverstone-based team finished seventh in last season’s constructors’ championship, despite increasing their points haul and could have won in Brazil thanks to Nico Hulkenberg’s spirited drive at Interlagos.

Hulkenberg has now moved to Sauber for 2013, and Force India has yet to announce who will partner Paul di Resta during the upcoming Formula 1 season.

Frenchman Jules Bianchi had been strongly linked with the drive, but he was present at Maranello during the launch of the new Ferrari F138.

The new VJM06 car will be powered by Mercedes engines for the fifth consecutive time and had a brief shakedown run at Silverstone before heading off to Jerez for proper pre-season testing.

Paul di Resta VJM06 2013

“I’m eager to feel what the car is all about. We’re giving it a short test today to get a bit of an idea,” said di Resta, who admitted it was hard to make predictions for 2013.

“I think it’s difficult to set yourself targets, especially at this point. It’s consistency and working the momentum to carry over from last year.

“That’s the focus, to have a car that gets into Q3 and put ourselves into strong positions.”

VJM06 shakedown

Technical director Andrew Green said the limited scope for innovation under the technical rules forced them to be more aggressive in their pursuit of performance.

“I’ve pushed the guys quite hard in areas that’s outside their comfort zone,” said Green. “It is under the skin, you can’t see it from here: rear suspension, front suspension, aerodynamics have all been pushed hard.

“I think the guys have done a really good job over the winter and the car is a step improvement from last year. The car should be a lot more consistent, should be a lot easier to drive. We’re looking forward to Jerez to see whether it does what it says on the tin.”

He added that the team’s focus in testing will be getting to the bottom of Pirelli’s new tyres for 2013: “The new tyres haven’t had too much of an impact on this year’s design. It’s been quite small, really.

“We’ve left ourselves a few options to look after the tyres and keep them in their optimum windows.

“What it will do is drive our winter test programme massively. Our focus in testing will be all around the tyres. It’s one thing we don’t really understand at the moment and we probably won’t until we start running them.

“Ever in winter testing it will be difficult to get the complete picture, running around Barcelona is not going to be the same as running in Melbourne.”

4 thoughts to “The new Force India VJM06”

  1. Force India has opted for a complete redesign of its car for the 2013 Formula 1 season, according to technical director Andrew Green.

    The VJM06 was unveiled at Silverstone on Friday morning.

    While the team enjoyed a strong run-in to its 2012 campaign, scoring points in the last eight straight races and leading 30 laps of the Brazilian finale, Green said increasingly marginal performance gains had prompted a complete redesign over the winter.

    “It’s a new car, we didn’t hold back,” he said.

    “Performance gains are getting harder and harder to find given the regulations stability, so we couldn’t hold back.

    “We had to redesign basically everything to maximise the potential of the car.

    “The time we took to understand the car at the end of the year actually helped us tremendously with the design of this one.”

    Green said the need to optimise Pirelli’s 2013 compounds had also been a major influence in the VJM06’s formation.

    “We’ve done a lot of work analysing how we use the tyres, so we have incorporated a lot of detail into this year’s design,” he explained.

    “On top of that we have bolted on extra downforce on, that’s always the case.

    “Keeping the tyres working in their sweet spot is the key to the current car, so we gave ourselves more options with this design [in order] to look after the tyres.

    “[The 2013 compounds] are the one thing we don’t really understand at the moment, and we won’t until we start running them.

    “That will drive our winter test programme massively. Our focus in testing will be all around the new tyres, [although] even then it’s going to be tough to get the complete picture running around Barcelona in five degree ambient [temperatures].”


  2. Force India have yet to announce Paul di Resta’s team-mate for the upcoming season. The team will delay the driver decision at a later point. has the details.

    Force India will not announce its second driver before the second Barcelona test in mid-February.

    Deputy team principal Bob Fernley said his squad had no concerns about going through the first winter test without having confirmed Paul di Resta’s team-mate as he is sure the second driver could catch up at Barcelona, where testing would ramp up.

    Fernley had said last month that the second driver announcement would be “probably before the first test.”

    “The driver will be capable of doing an equal amount of time as Paul,” Fernley said during the launch of the new VJM06.

    “It’s only once the baseline has been set, which Paul will be doing in Jerez, do you really start to lean on the car and wind it up to get performance.”

    Fernley confirmed that Force India’s 2012 reserve driver Jules Bianchi remained on the shortlist for the second race seat despite the Ferrari protege being at the Italian squad’s launch instead.

    “Jules is a significant candidate for what we’re doing, along with Adrian [Sutil] and a few others,” said Fernley.

    He also denied that the delay in announcing the second driver meant the choice would be based entirely on commercial considerations.

    “I have difficulty with the terminology of pay drivers,” Fernley said.

    “The drivers that are in Formula 1 are very good quality.

    “The fact that they’ve got the skills to put a budget together as well would be complementary, not a negative.

    “What I would like to think that talent is also given the opportunity when maybe it doesn’t have the budget to go with it.

    “What we do is see how things fit into our programmes and get the best drivers we can afford, and I don’t think that’s changed.”

  3. Force India has admitted that it had planned to run Jules Bianchi as its reserve driver for two years before considering him for a Formula 1 race drive.

    The Silverstone-based team launched its 2013 VJM06 on Friday, with only lead driver Paul di Resta in attendance.

    Bianchi, who drove for Force India in free practice on nine grand prix weekends in 2012, is one of several drivers in contention for the second race seat, with Adrian Sutil and Bruno Senna both considered leading contenders as well.

    Speaking at the launch of the new car, Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley told AUTOSPORT that the departure of Nico Hulkenberg had disrupted the team’s long-term driver plans.

    “The idea of the Nico/Paul partnership not continuing into 2013 wasn’t our plan,” said Fernley. “Obviously it slightly de-railed our programme.

    “If we’d had an ideal world we’d have liked to run Jules for two years as a third driver.

    “Is Jules ready to go into a primary seat? Yes, he is. Absolutely. But we’ve just got to make sure we tick all the boxes now.”

    Fernley said that having two drivers on board for the first test of pre-season at Jerez next week was not as important as getting a revised long-term plan in place with its line-up.

    “We have all these long-term plans and we want to make sure the decisions we take are the right ones,” he said.

    “And we don’t have to rush those decisions. Today [at the launch], a lot of the talk is about why we don’t have other drivers here.

    “Well, the key objective today is to launch the VJM06 and two new partners with our programme. We only needed one driver to do that.

    “When we go to Jerez, there’s no better person to do all the baseline work and get the car ready for Barcelona, than Paul.

    “Paul will be the key focus for Jerez. After that, the shareholders will be ready I think to announce the three-driver line-up, which will see us into 2013 and hopefully longer term.”

    No shootout

    Fernley dismissed the idea of holding an on-track evaluation of the various candidates for the 2013 line-up.

    “We’ve got a number of people pooled that we want to look at for the primary drive, and a couple of people that we want to look at for the third driver programme,” he said.

    “We don’t need to evaluate the people we’re looking at – we’ll make the decision and they’ll go straight into the programme.

    “As long as the baseline work is done and we can bring the second and third driver in for Barcelona [on February 19], they’re going to be competitive straight away.”


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