Andrew Green may have been involved in the design process of F1 cars for more than 20 years ago, but he will still hope that he has produced a winner when the new Force India challenger rolls out for the second of the 2011 season's group tests.

The wraps came off the VJM04 during an online press conference ahead of this week's Jerez test and Green, one of the men behind the original - and beautiful - Jordan 191, admitted that he and the rest of the Silverstone-based team faced major challenges created by the changes to the technical regulations for 2011.

The cut in downforce derived from a ban on double diffusers, the outlawing of F-duct systems, the reintroduction of KERS and advent of movable rear wings, as well as the switch from Bridgestone to Pirelli as sole tyre supplier all combine to make F1 a very different arena to the one which Force India left in Abu Dhabi last season, and Green reveals that, while not everything may be visible to the naked eye, the VJM04 is much-altered from its predecessor.

"Everything is different but, visually, a lot of it is subtle," he points out, "The most obvious visual change is that we've gone away from a conventional roll-hoop to a blade. This gives us a small packaging improvement compared to a more conventional style. The engine cover is different too, in line with the abolition of the F-duct system, but there are a lot of differences under the skin that people won't necessarily notice."

The ban on double diffusers and other changes in the rules created a drastic cut in downforce at the rear of the car, and getting it back has been one of the major challenges of the winter.

"We believe that we've recovered a lot of the aerodynamic performance - we still have a little bit to go, but we are still in the process of the realignment after the end of last season, because it does take a long time to move aerodynamically from one position to another," Green argues, "The movable wing is a whole new game, and we'll be trying to exploit its performance to the max."

With the ban on two of the more recent innovations in F1, observers were keen to spot the next one during last week's Valencia group test, with Lotus Renault's front-exiting exhausts among the new ideas on show.

"Exhaust management will be a big area of development this year," Green agreed, before insisting that the whole car still has development potential, "There will be an upgrade for the first race, so there are some changes that will come into effect at the Bahrain test. Further down the line, there are some big updates for the front of the car coming in for the first European race."

Bridgestone's decision to quit the top flight at the end of 2010 affects the entire F1 grid, not just Force India, but Green is determined not to have ignorance of the tyres as an excuse for poor performance.

"We've put in a lot of work trying to maximise the potential performance of the new Pirelli tyre compounds and, to this end, we've recruited a new senior tyre engineer, Jun Matsusaki, to guide us through the development process," he revealed, "The test we recently conducted in Valencia was a good learning exercise."

Significantly, the team has done far more than simply address the new rules. It has also gone back to basics by taking a close look at the fundamentals of last year's package, and attempted to address key areas of concern. Although seventh place in the constructors' championship was seen as a good return by many, the disappointment within the team at being beaten to sixth place by comparative veterans Williams was plain to see.

Again, the VJM03 was quick in a straight line, a trait enhanced by some forward thinking with its version of the F-duct that many subsequently copied, but performances and results were somewhat erratic, with no hint of a return to podium and front row heights enjoyed in Spa and Monza in 2009. Its attempt at a blown diffuser was notably less successful than some of its rivals, and Green is determined to produce a car that can maintain its potential throughout what will be the longest season in F1 history.

"Towards the end of last season, there was a drop-off in our relative performance," he accepts, "In theory, we were adding performance to the car, but it wasn't getting translated to the track. We decided to have a very close look at what was happening on the car, and what could be causing this. The bottom line is we didn't extract the most from the blown diffuser thus, over the winter, we've taken a reasonable philosophy chance on the aerodynamics of the car in order to try and prevent the sort of drop-off in performance that we saw at the end of last year."

In addition, the team has focused on improving its performance in high-downforce spec, having become known as something of a specialist when it came to the quicker venues such as Monza.

"Looking back over the years, the cars we have produced here have always struggled at the high downforce tracks, as they always been 'slippery' cars," Green agreed, "We've identified a problem, and now we have to fix it - and it means that, potentially, there's another strategic aero change coming as well."

Underlining the team's renewed focus on aerodynamic development, there will extra emphasis on gathering data on the Fridays of race weekends, when new recruit Nico Hulkenberg, fresh from a promising year as race driver with Williams, will get the chance to provide feedback to complement that of the new-look Force India line-up of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta. The change also requires more accurate sensors and different procedures for gathering data, better analysis tools, and dedicated people at the trackside focusing on the aerodynamic performance.

"We are going to be using the real car at the track as a validation tool for the aerodynamics, which is something that we haven't done effectively before," Green revealed, "There's a lot more focus on what's actually happening on the car aerodynamically, [but] to measure it at the fidelity that we need to measure it at is a huge task.

"We understand how important it is, and we're in that game now as well. That will start to feed back into the aerodynamic development of the car. When we get positive results, it backs up our development tools and, when we don't, we'll investigate why. Fridays will be a lot more about understanding the car we have, as well as understanding the track at the time and the tyres we're running."




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