Formula 1

Force India VJM09 breaks cover in Barcelona

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Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez lifted the covers off of the Sahara Force India VJM09 at the Circuit de Catalunya on Monday morning ahead of the first day of pre-season testing in Spain.

Reserve driver Alfonso Celis Jr, who will be the first driver to test the new car on Monday, joined the two race drivers at the presentation of the VJM09, a car the team hopes help them continue the momentum they found with its predecessor the VJM08 in 2015.

“The colours reflect our partners and heritage,” said Team Principal Dr Vijay Mallya. “Although I’m biased, I think our car is one of the best looking on the grid and that’s why I wanted to keep a consistent look for 2016. As they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

“I want us to begin 2016 in the same way that we ended 2015. Our technical team is excited about the progress we have made over the winter and there’s every reason to believe we can stay at the front of the midfield battle.”

Technical Director Andrew Green has revealed the VJM08 is based on the b-spec VJM08 that performed so well in the second half of 2015 that helped the team secure fifth in the constructors championship, the team’s best ever result.

“You can say the b-spec car from last year formed a basis on which to build our 2016 one,” said Green. “We were in a situation in which the performance on track was very good, and in which the data we were getting correlated well to what we were expecting, so we knew we could continue to develop on a solid platform.

“With the regulations likely to change for 2017, it didn’t really seem like an efficient use of our resources to start from scratch on a project that would have such a limited lifetime.”

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