Force India 2012 VJM05 unveiled: Stepped nose hammerhead Formula One race car

While Ferrari had to cancel their scheduled 2012 F1 car unveiling today because of incessant snowfall, Force India added a spark at Silverstone with their scheduled VJM05 showcasing. Similar to Caterham and Ferrari, the new 2012 VJM05 race car has a prominent stepped nose in keeping with the ‘new nose height regulation’.

The 2012 VJM05 is has been created under technical director Andrew Green. This is his 2nd for Sahara Force India. It is built under the leadership of Akio Haga and Ian Hall as the team uses an ‘alternating system of Project Leaders. This is the 4th year in succession that the Sahara Force India team is using a Mercedes engine and a gearbox supplied by McLaren Applied Technologies.

Andrew Green had this to say. “I would say that the car looks a lot more refined than previous cars produced here.” “It does a look 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, which is good.” “And so far the performance in the tunnel has been extremely encouraging, so we’re reasonably happy with where it sits. It’s just that unknown of where everyone else is – and we won’t know that until Melbourne. ” “The nose height regulation has led to the biggest visual change in the car, and then there’s the exhaust regulation. The rest of it is very subtle.”

Green went on to add, “We’re scheduling all the new parts that are going to come in for the last test or the first race, so they are the ones that we can focus on. The net result is that we will be adding performance on the car come Melbourne because of the shape we’re in now. We will have that capacity in February to really push through some big updates in a much shorter period of time, because everything else will have been sorted. That’s really what we’re gearing ourselves up for – the first race – and it will be a little bit different from the car that we are going to run at the first test.”

Paul di Resta looks forward to this season of Formula One with the new hammerhead VJM05. The 25 year old Scot finished the 2011 F1 season in 13th place having garnered 27 points in his rookie year. Paul di Resta had this to say. “There’s a bit more pressure on me this year as I’m not a rookie any more.” “But with what the guys have achieved with the car, I can’t wait to get in it now. This season we’re going for a stronger start, to finish where we left off after a good end to last season. ” “Last year we met our ambitions of finishing sixth in the constructors’ (championship), so now we’ll just push on from there. ” “We need to work hard over the next few weeks in the tests to get the best out of the car going into the new season.”

Deputy team Principal Bob Fernley had this to say. “It’s a very exciting and neat package.” “Each time we saw the car, as it was being developed, it was getting more and more exciting.” “I think we’ve one of the most exciting driver line-ups in F1, so I’m not worried about ours at all.” “I don’t think (owner) Vijay (Mallya) will accept anything less than fifth.” “It’s going to be tough. It’s not going to be an easy ride by any means.”

German Nico Hulkenberg, who replaced Adrian Sutil this year had this to say. “It feels pretty good to be back. When I heard about it I was happy.” “Last year wasn’t easy for me, but Force India have given me a chance to prove myself.” “I’ve kept myself sharp and now I’m back. Last year I improved and learned, even though I wasn’t racing.” “But I was still heavily involved in the team, I picked up some things, with the only thing missing being the racing.” “Now, ahead of my second year in F1, I want to establish myself.” “The new car is quite exciting, and like Paul, I can’t wait to drive it next week.”

For Sahara Force India team drivers Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg, their inexperience isn’t the focus here with less than 40 Grand Prix’s between them. The focus would be to improve on their 6th place finish in the constructors championships last year. On a lighter note, Fernley said, “It’s a good job we didn’t finish fifth last year because Vijay would have wanted fourth this year.” The team will embark on their first test in Jerez from Tuesday. Sahara Force India has picked Jules Bianchi as their reserve driver for the 2012 season.