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Sahara Force India F1 launch: Force India reveals VJM09

Force India has become the latest F1 team to unwrap its 2016 car, the VJM09, in a pitlane presentation at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Force India has become the latest F1 team to unwrap its 2016 car, the VJM09, in a pitlane presentation at the Circuit de Catalunya before the opening day of pre-season testing.

The VJM09 keeps its familiar black and livery base colours with the flick of orange and green from last year's car livery while also maintaining its nose indents which first appeared on the VJM08-B specification which propelled the team's charge in the second half of 2015 to finish fifth in the constructors' championship.

“You can say the B-spec car from last year formed a basis on which to build our 2016 one,” Andrew Green, Force India's technical director, said. “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.”

Small tweaks have been made to the rest of the chassis as the team also keeps Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez as its full-time F1 drivers for the new season.

However, neither of the drivers will be the first behind the wheel of the new car as new development driver Alfonso Celis Jr receives the honour of the VJM09's maiden public appearance.

Force India team principal Vijay Mallya is keen for his squad to maintain its momentum for the end of 2015 into the new season and feels continuity is the key.

"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," Mallya said. “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.”

Otmar Szafnauer, Force India's chief operating officer, has also confirmed the team will introduce an aerodynamic package upgrade after the Barcelona pre-season tests at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, with more updates applied once the European leg of the season begins.

“The wind tunnel programme in Cologne is maturing nicely and I'm encouraged by the gains we have made over the winter," Szafnauer said. "The first major aero updates should be on the car in time for Melbourne and we also plan another big step for the start of the European season.”





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