The new Force India VJM05

Sahara Force India has revealed its new VJM05 at Silverstone today (February 3rd), with the new car featuring a distinctive nose.

The Mercedes-engined VJM05 features a nose design similar to that of the 2012 Caterham, and heavily revised sidepods in line with the new exhaust rules. Force India has also dropped its ‘blade’ style rollhoop design.

The new colour scheme looks better compared to last year’s car but that ‘hammerhead shark’ nose certainly makes the VJM05 look unique.

This is the second car produced under technical director Andrew Green. The Silverstone-based team operates an alternating system of project leaders, and the VJM05 is thus the responsibility of Akio Haga, Ian Hall having overseen last year’s car.

It is hoped that the new car will allow Force India to challenge for the top five in the constructors’ championship after finishing a best-ever sixth last year. The team has replaced Adrian Sutil with Nico Hulkenberg, while Paul di Resta stays on in the sister car.

“I think every individual in this team has put a lot of effort into his car,” di Resta told Sky Sports News. “The momentum we had at the end of last year, hopefully we’ve manged to carry that over but I must say it is a fine piece of art. Hopefully when it gets to track it’ll be able to show what it’s capable of.”

Hulkenberg, who drove for Williams in 2010 and was Force India’s reserve driver in 2011, said: “It feels good to be making a return to F1.

“I was very happy when I found out because last year, sat on the sidelines wasn’t easy. But still a good year because Force India gave me the opportunity to prove my skills on Friday mornings.

“I think I improved and continued to learn in 2011, but in different ways. Obviously I wasn’t driving, but behind the scenes, on the pitwall seeing how everything worked – these are all things that should help me in races.”

5 thoughts to “The new Force India VJM05”

  1. Force India technical director Andrew Green expects most teams to join Force India, Ferrari and Caterham in opting for the ‘platypus’ nose design.

    The new Force India VJM05, which was unveiled at Silverstone this morning, featured the distinctive shelf where the nose joins the higher front section of the monocoque. Despite the McLaren MP4-27, launched on Wednesday, not featuring the drop nose thanks to a lower chassis front, Green thinks most will follow the design concept that his team has chosen.

    “We think most will follow our philosophy,” Green told Sky Sports News. “It [the lower chassis] is an aero philosophy that McLaren apply to the front of their car, last year they were the only team to apply that.

    “There’s a regualation change on the nose height and we went with the drop nose. For us, it’s not big deal, it’s purely asethetics.”

    Green has set the team the target of challenging for fifth place in the constructors’ championship.

    This would build on the team’s recent improvement, which has seen it finish ninth, seventh and sixth over the past three campaigns.

    “It’s a big ask for a small team like ourselves but I’ve got a lot of confidence in the team around me,” said Green. “We learned a lot last year and made big strides in our understanding of car performance and aerodynamics.

    “We are taking that another step this year, you can see that in the detail on the car and see the new aero philosophies coming through on it. This is another chapter for Force India.”

    Green confirmed that Force India will experiment with different exhaust solutions during pre-season testing following the ban on exhaust blown diffusers. and that he expects other teams to adopt a similar test strategy.


  2. Paul di Resta says leeping momentum key for Force India in this year’s Formula One championship season. has the details.

    Paul di Resta believes it is key for Force India to carry its late-season momentum from 2011 into the start of the upcoming season.

    The Scot was speaking at the launch of the team’s VJM05 at Silverstone on Friday.

    Force India recovered from a slow start last year to be one of the on-form teams by the end of the campaign, and di Resta believes that it can take another step in the competitive order providing it starts well this year.

    “The big thing we’re going for is a stronger start than last year, because the momentum at the end of the year was incredible,” he said. “I think the guys should be very proud of what they’ve achieved.

    “We’re still on a buzz from that and it would be great to start where we left off. We were very close to coming fifth as a constructor last year and we met our ambition of coming sixth.

    “We want to do better, that’s the main focus. We’ll just keep pushing on.”

    The former DTM champion added that he knows he will be under more pressure in his second season as he is more experienced and has a new team-mate in Nico Hulkenberg and a new reserve driver in Ferrari Academy driver Jules Bianchi.

    “I think there’s always pressure in any sport but yeah there’s a little more as I’m not a rookie anymore,” he said. “There is that nature there to try and beat your team-mate, but we’re there to represent Force India and you need to look at the whole team.

    “[The threat of a reserve driver] always concerns you, because how stable is Formula 1 at the moment? You need to focus on your own driving. But one thing you can say about what Force India have done – it’s a great way to get involved in Formula 1.”

  3. Force India’s young driver policy has given it one of the most promising driver line-ups on the grid, according to deputy team principal Bob Fernley.

    The Silverstone-based team has given regular track time on grand prix weekends to its reserve drivers for the past two years, with both Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg converting those opportunities into race drives for the following season.

    Ferrari Academy driver Jules Bianchi is the latest driver to land the reserve role at the team, and Fernley explained at the launch of the team’s VJM05 F1 car that driver development is important to Vijay Mallya’s outfit.

    “No, I don’t think we are taking a gamble,” Fernley said in relation to Force India’s young line-up. “Driver succession is important to us.

    “I think outside of, or maybe including, the top four, we’ve got one of the most exciting driver line-ups, so I’m not worried at all.

    “The system Force India operate with bringing them through one year [as reserve drivers] makes the difference with them being able to be competitive from day one. It’s a very clearly thought out process.”

    Hulkenberg, who returns to racing after spending a year on Friday duties with Force India, believes that the role given to him by the team last year has helped him be ready for his return.

    “A year on the sidelines wasn’t easy for me but I had a great year with Force India,” said the former GP2 champion, who raced for Williams in 2010. “They gave me lots of chances to prove my talent on Friday mornings.

    “I kept sharp that way and now I’m back. I think I still improved and learned, but in different ways. I picked up some things that might help me in races.”

    Bianchi, who has joined the team after two years racing in GP2, hopes to be able to follow in di Resta and Hulkenberg’s footsteps and prove that he is worthy of further chances in Formula 1.

    “For the moment we have a minimum of nine Friday mornings, so it’s going to be really important,” said the Frenchman. “The track time in Formula 1 is really useful for a young driver like me.

    “I will just try to do my best, try to show the team I deserve more. I am reserve driver, I will stay in this position and try to help them as much as I can.”


  4. Force India declares its ‘rebuilding phase’ is over. has the story.

    Force India’s deputy team principal Bob Fernley says the squad has completed its rebuilding phase and is now ready to try and chase Formula 1’s top outfits.

    The Silverstone-based team is commencing its fifth season in its Force India guise, and is aiming to improve on last year’s sixth-place finish in the constructors’ championship – when it came within four points of beating Renault to fifth.

    Force India launched its new VJM05 at Silverstone today, with a clear aim of breaking into the top five in the championship this season.

    “I think the team now has got to a position where the reconstruction plan has really come to the fruition of its objectives,” said Fernley.

    “We have to look for where we can go to compete with the top four or five. That’s another programme and that’s what we’re discussing.”

    Fernley admitted that last year’s strong performance had raised expectations.

    “I don’t think Vijay will accept anything less than fifth [in the constructors’ championship],” he said.

    “I was pleased we didn’t finish fifth [in 2011] in some ways because then [the target] would’ve been fourth…

    “It’s going to be tough. All the teams out there are capable of fifth, and I think the battle for fifth place is going to be as exciting as the battle at the top. All the teams have got talented people who are just as focused as we are and it’s not going to be an easy ride by any means.”

  5. Force India will be one of the big beneficiaries of the decision to ban exhaust-blown diffusers in Formula 1, reckons the team’s technical chief Andrew Green.

    Although the Silverstone-based outfit finished sixth in last year’s constructors’ championship, Green felt it did not get properly on top of the exhaust-blowing technology so will lose far less from the ban than many rivals.

    “We were a little bit late to the party and I don’t think we extracted its full potential by a long way,” said Green.

    “I think there are teams out there that extracted way more than we did and hopefully that will hurt them more than it’s going to hurt us. We spent the winter trying to salvage back all that downforce that it cost us and we’re getting closer.”

    He believes that the rule change will make F1 more competitive overall.

    “My feeling is that it should close the field up,” Green said. “I think you need to look at Silverstone, where the regs changed for a fraction of a second, and the grid did appear to close up.”

    While Green believes the blown diffuser ban will be key to Force India’s form this year, he also has high hopes for the new aerodynamic direction that has been taken with the VJM05.

    “The biggest change for us is the aerodynamic philosophy on the car, starting on the front and the new front wing, which sets up all the basic structures down the car, that’s a big step for us,” Green said.

    “It took us quite a long time getting ourselves out of the old philosophy. We did some testing last year trying to move away from it and then we used that knowledge over the winter to come up with the new concept at the front.

    “It’s a big departure from where we have been before, and the [wind]tunnel numbers are really, really encouraging so we’re quite looking forward to getting on the track and seeing if it does produce what it should do.”


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