Force India F1 launch new VJM03 

Written by David on February 09th, 2010 at 12:21 pmLast Update: February 10th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Force India VJM03 The Force India F1 team launched today, their 2010 challenger, the VJM03.

The Silverstone based team finished the 2009 season as a genuine regular contender for points and the new car, the VJM03, builds on the solid foundations established by its predecessor, which took pole for the 2009 Belgian GP.

“Our goal is to continue on the same path of performance improvement that we had at the end of 2009,” said Vijay Mallya, Force India F1 team principal. “I don’t think I am being over-proud when I say 2009 was an exceptional year for us. The bare statistics say it all: one podium, one pole position, one fastest lap, a further five top 10 starts and 13 points. We’ve learnt from our experiences and we’ve come out a better team: resilient, resourceful and now resurgent. I hope 2010 will see this great progress carrying forward. We’ve got one podium so far but I would hope that, this time next year, I’m talking about more points and more podiums. I’m confident we can get this, why not aim high?”

VJM03 front

The Force India VJM03 is an evolution of last year’s car and it incorporates the package of rules changes introduced for this year, including the requirement for a larger fuel tank as a result of the refuelling ban and a switch to narrower front tyres.

“The VJM03 is definitely an evolution of the VJM02 in terms of the design philosophies we have developed at Force India over the last year. We are very happy with the direction, therefore we have opted to evolve the car rather than significantly revise,” explained Design director Mark Smith. “Obviously one of the major aspects we have had to contend with are regulation changes which have had a considerable impact on some aspects of the design of the car. The removal of refuelling from races increases the amount of fuel needed to be stored in the cars – almost twice the amount we ran in 2009. There is a compromise now: either make the car much longer or wider, or, as we have done, a combination of both. This of course has influenced the mechanical design solutions and also the aerodynamics, specifically with respects to the diffuser and bodywork,” he continued.

VJM03

“Even with the ban of double diffusers for 2011, we recognise that we still have to push as much as we possibly can in this area in 2010 as we have targets to meet and the double diffuser is a key development aspect of the car,” he added.

The VJM02 was noticeably quicker on the low downforce circuits, however Smith is confident that this year the VJM03 will be strong across the board: “The VJM02 was a relatively low drag car that showed well on the low downforce tracks. As was demonstrated throughout 2009, that was a useful attribute but as we go into 2010 we have tried to maintain a high level of aerodynamic efficiency, but we recognise that our championship position will be enhanced by a general level of performance that is suited to all types of circuits. We have, we believe, quite an efficient car overall.”

The new Force India VJM03 will make its official testing on 10 February at Jerez. Vitantonio Liuzzi will be on driving duties for the first two days before Adrian Sutil takes over on 12 February for a further two days. Test and reserve driver Paul di Resta will step into the car on 17 February in Jerez.

VJM03 side

Force India VJM03 Technical Specifications:

  • Chassis: Carbon fibre composite monocoque with Zylon legality side anti-intrusion panels.
  • Front suspension: Aluminium uprights with carbon fibre composite wishbones, trackrod and pushrod. Inboard chassis mounted torsion springs, dampers and anti-roll bar assembly.
  • Rear suspension: Aluminium uprights with carbon fibre composite wishbones, trackrod and pushrod. Inboard gearbox mounted torsion springs, dampers and anti-roll bar assembly.
  • Wheel base: 3500mm
  • Front track: 1480mm
  • Rear track: 1420mm
  • Overall height: 950mm
  • Overall length: 4900mm
  • Overall weight: 620kg (with driver, by regulations)
  • Wheels: BBS forged wheels to Force India specification
  • Engine supplier: Mercedes Benz High Performance Engines V8 2.4-litre
  • Transmission: McLaren Racing 7-speed, semi-automatic, ‘e-shift’
  • Lubricants: Mobil 1 products
  • Spark plugs: NGK
  • Clutch: AP Racing carbon clutch
  • Tyres: Bridegestone Potenza
  • Brake system: AP Racing
  • Brake material: Carbone Industrie
  • Dampers: Penske

Images © Force India F1

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