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Friday focus falls on Ferrari, Force India
1 February 2013
Two more F1 teams are set to unveil their 2013 challengers today (Friday), including the third of the year's likely title contenders.
While Force India takes the wraps off its VJM06 at Silverstone, it is likely to be overshadowed by goings-on in Italy, where last year's runner-up unveils the car it hopes will be able to take the fight to Red Bull, McLaren and, potentially, Lotus over the next ten months.
Artists' impressions of the Ferrari's F138 – a number derived from combining the year with a mark of respect for the out-going V8 engine configuration - show it to feature smaller sidepods than last year's F2012, as well as incorporating the 'vanity panel' eschewed by Lotus to cover up the ugly stepped nose. While the car's aero treatment, front and rear, will certainly be more complex by the time Melbourne comes around, the car is also likely to feature a Coanda exhaust similar to that used to good effect by Red Bull – and copied by others – in 2012.
While there is no doubt about who will be driving the Ferrari this season, with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa locked up by the team before the end of the 2012 campaign, Force India is set to unveil its 2013 campaign with only Paul di Resta in place – and rumours still suggesting that the Scot's position isn't as secure as he'd like it to be.
The team has also said that it is unlikely to reveal the identity of a second driver during the launch, giving it a few more days to sort something out before the start of testing on Tuesday (5 February). Adrian Sutil, Jules Bianchi, Bruno Senna and Luiz Razia have all been linked to the seat alongside di Resta, although the last named can probably be scratched, having revealed a likely Marussia deal via his website. Although di Resta is alleged to have tweeted that Senna will be joining him, Bianchi remains the favourite, particularly with Ferrari pushing his case for a race seat.
What odds on a live link-up between Silverstone and Maranello to confirm the French Ferrari Academy driver as a Force India driver?
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