Friday, 03 February 2012 12:11
Page 1 of 4Formula One drivers Nico Hulkenberg, Paul Di Resta and Jules Bianchi were at the Northamptonshire team's Silverstone base to launch the new look VMJ05 challenger, which features the step-nose that is set to become a common theme in 2012.
Sahara Force India unveiled its 2012 challenger today as Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg pulled the covers off the VJM05 at Silverstone. They were joined by reserve driver, Jules Bianchi, as the team’s new car was presented for the first time.
The VJM05 is the second car to be created under the watch of Technical Director, Andrew Green, as the team seeks to build on its on its sixth place finish in the constructors’ championship and take the fight to the teams that lie ahead.
Technical Director Andrew Green said: “We’re in much better shape compared to 12 months ago. We’re looking for a higher level of build quality to get us off to a good start. We have time to get things absolutely right, so we know when we do hit the ground in Jerez, everything has been fully tested, and we understand the car completely with respect to all the structural design.
“One key area is validation, in that we validate that everything is to design spec. We can perform some suspension tuning early on to make sure we’re in the sweet spot for suspension set-up, and check fundamental kinematics.
“It just gives us confidence that we’ve built what we’ve designed, so when we do go to Jerez and there is a handling trait that we’re trying to dial out there are fewer question marks over parts of the car. It allows us to focus, during winter testing, on getting the car set-up optimum.”
Summing up the approach to 2012, Andrew Green added: “The car looks more refined; a lot racier and a lot more purposeful. You can start to see the aerodynamic concepts coming through now. It looks quite a bit different to the previous years, and so far the performance in the tunnel has been encouraging.”
Once again the Sahara Force India cars will be powered by the Mercedes engines with gearbox supplied by McLaren Applied Technologies. This will be the second season with the Mercedes KERS.
Paul Di Resta
“Seeing the new car built and complete for the first time is always an exciting moment. It’s when you realise that all the waiting is finally over and the season is beginning for real. I’ve had a good winter and I’ve recharged my batteries, but now I’m fully focussed on 2012 and looking forward to the start of testing. There’s a really positive feeling in the team, good stability and hopefully we can pick up where we left off at the end of last year.”
“I saw the new car in the wind tunnel a few times and followed its progress during the winter. It looks aggressive and fast, but we won’t know where we stand until we get out there and compete against the others. Preparations for the new season have been full-on with simulator sessions and lots of fitness training. I feel ready to get back to racing and I’m excited to find out what the new car feels like next week.”
Otmar Szafnauer - Chief Operating Officer
“The new car has come together nicely over the winter. We don’t know what our competitors have done, but we’ve made some gains over the winter and believe we’re in reasonable shape. It’s going to be difficult in the midfield, but our focus is on starting strongly and improving our position from last season.”
Dr. Vijay Mallya - Team Principal and Managing Director
“We have set our sights on challenging for fifth place. To do so we will need to begin the new campaign by delivering the kind of form we showed in the second half of 2011. I believe this is a realistic goal and that we have the talent and determination to realise these ambitions.”
VJM05 Technical specifications:
||Carbon fibre composite monocoque with Zylon legality side anti-intrusion panels.
||Aluminium uprights with carbon fibre composite wishbones, trackrod and pushrod. Inboard chassis mounted torsion springs, dampers and anti-roll bar assembly.
||Aluminium uprights with carbon fibre composite wishbones, trackrod and pullrod. Inboard gearbox mounted torsion springs, dampers and anti-roll bar assembly.
||640kg (with driver, by regulations)
||BBS forged wheels to Sahara Force India specification
||Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains V8 2.4litre
||Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains
||McLaren Racing 7-speed, semi-automatic, ‘e-shift’
||Mobil 1 products
||AP Racing carbon clutch