On Friday, Force India revealed their charger for the 2012 Formula 1 World Championship.
Flanked by drivers Paul di Resta, Nico Hulkenberg and reserve pilot Jules Bianchi; the Northamptonshire-based squad pulled the covers off the VJM05 at a chilly Silverstone.
Although Force India’s aim is to secure 5th in the Constructors’ Championship, Team Principal Vijay Mallya is under no illusions about the task at hand.
“The new car has come together nicely over the winter. We’ve made some gains (…) and we’re in reasonable shape. Our focus is on starting strongly and improving our position.”
Andre Green – Technical Director with the squad – acknowledged some positives about the VJM05 machine.
“The car looks more refined; a lot racier and a lot more purposeful. You can start to see the aerodynamic concepts coming through now. So far the performance in the tunnel has been encouraging.”
The promotion of Bianchi to Force India’s third driver role is a big move for the Frenchman, who endured a topsy-turvy year in GP2 during 2011.
Like Force India’s previous entry, the VJM05 will be powered by the Mercedes KERS unit, as well as their FO 108Z engine, while also utilising a McLaren gearbox.