Sahara Force India unveiled its 2012 F1 challenger this morning at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix and of course also home of Vijay Mallya's outfit.
Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg were on hand to take the wraps off the Mercedes-powered VJM05, with the launch taking place at around 9 am local time. Test and reserve driver, Jules Bianchi was also in attendance and posed for pictures with the new car, which like the new Ferrari and Caterham's CT01, features a stepped nose.
“I would say that the car looks a lot more refined than previous cars produced here,” said technical director, Andrew Green. “It does 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 encouraging. 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.”
The VJM05 is the second car to be created under Green's watch and he was keen to emphasise that this is just the start, with new parts and modifications planned ahead of the F1 2012 season opener in Australia on March 18.
“This car was designed more than two or three months ago, and what I'm looking at now is all the development parts,” he continued. “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 on which we can focus.
“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 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.”
As for the driver line-up, Green believes the di Resta-Hulkenberg combo will be very good: “I'm looking forward to seeing Nico in the car and it will be Paul's second year, so I don't think we could ask for a stronger line-up. It gives us an extra edge – they will extract a higher percentage of the car's performance than other drivers, which is great for us. I'm looking forward to the racing now!” he summed-up.
TO SEE PICTURES FROM SAHARA FORCE INDIA VJM05 LAUNCH, CLICK HERE
More images will be added over the course of the day.