Force India unveiled their new car, the VJM06 today, but the identity of Paul di Resta’s team mate remains a mystery with no announcement yet made.
Despite speculation that the team is in financial problems, team boss Vijay Mallya still remains bullish about their chances for the forthcoming season, aiming to build on a competitive 2012 which saw Nico Hulkenberg and di Resta regularly challenging for points.
“The VJM06 doesn’t look massively different to its predecessor, but beneath the skin we’ve looked at every detail to try and find more performance,” said Mallya.
“I’ve followed the development of the car closely and I’m proud of what we have achieved. The objective now is to make sure we build on the promise of last year and have a strong start to the season.”
“It’s a brand new car from the ground-up – everything is new. We discussed carrying over big chunks of last year’s car, including the chassis, but decided not to. There were still some gains to be had with the chassis, so we elected to take the performance benefits,” technical director Andrew Green added.
“The biggest change that everybody is going to notice this year is the fairing on top of the nose to hide the ‘step’. It’s neutral as far as the car’s performance is concerned but tidies up the flow over the top of the chassis.”
Paul di Resta’s best result last year was a fourth place at the Singapore Grand Prix, and the Scot was on hand to unveil the new car today at Silverstone.
“Seeing the car built and complete for the first time is a special feeling. I’ve followed its progress in the tunnel and it looks very impressive – aggressive and fast. Now I’m just eager to get out there and see where we stand compared to our competitors. After the winter I feel refreshed and keen to get back to business.”
Sahara Force India also confirmed that the team’s second driver will not be announced before the second pre-season test in Barcelona in mid-February. Deputy team principle Bob Fernley also added that Jules Bianchi, Adrian Sutil and “a few others” were on the shortlist for the driver.