The Sahara Force India F1 Team have today unveiled their 2017 machine, the VJM10, during an event at their home base of Silverstone.
The VJM10 retains the same well known livery colours of orange and silver, with a splash of green, as last season, but they have gone back to a stepped nose design with a thumb tip, and vents on either side of it.
The newly adopted shark fin behind the airbox/cooling inlet to the rear of the VJM10, is the biggest so far seen on the 2017 cars, and is highly reminiscent of a LMP1 car in its current form.
Team Principal Vijay Mallya described how he had felt more excited than ever before at revealing the Silverstone based squad’s 2017 challenger.
“I can’t remember being more excited ahead of a new season. The VJM10 looks aggressive and purposeful, and is the result of a huge effort behind the scenes over the last twelve months.
“We have big hopes for this car, which looks stunning in its new livery.”
Despite his enthusiasm however, Mallya remained cautious on what we can expect from Force India this season.
“Simply repeating our performance level of 2016 will be a big task in itself.
“I don’t want to set goals or targets other than to say that we intend to maintain the momentum we have built up in recent years and carry it into the new season.
“There are too many unknowns to say more than this.”
Mallya could also not resist having a pop at Renault Sport Formula 1 Team Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul’s comments on smaller budget teams being likely to find keeping up this season tough, due to the costs involved in coping with the new regulation changes.
“He may have to eat his words. It’s not about the arms you have, it’s about the quality of your weaponry.”
Technical Director Andrew Green explained how regular updates will be brought in throughout the year, as they aim to ramp up development across the season.
“It’s definitely a big overhaul; one that requires a change in mentality.
“It took a bit of time to adjust at first, but we are there now and I am confident we know where to look and where the performance is coming from with this car.
“The development slope is incredibly steep and we are going to see significant updates to the cars at regular intervals, right from the start; it’s going to be big updates and I don’t think development will start to taper off any time soon.”
Having lost Nico Hulkenberg to the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team this season, Force India have brought in highly-rated Frenchman Esteban Ocon as a replacement for the German, alongside regular force Sergio Perez, who scored two podiums for the Silverstone based squad last year, in what was their best ever finishing position so far in F1. The team will be hoping for more of the same in 2017.