Despite the VJM06 looking spectacular with it’s ‘vanity cover’ and sleek design, most of the talk still surrounded the absence of a second driver for the British based Indian team. Team principal Robert Fernley maintained a hard line on who would be lining up with the Scot for 2013.
“The shareholders are thinking about where the drivers are going to be, but our main objective today is obviously to launch the car and make one or two important announcements. We don’t want to confuse the two stories,” he said during the launch at the teams base in Silverstone.
One of the key words used at the launch was ‘evolution’, with limited visual differences on the VJM06 compared to last years VJM05. Technical director Andrew Green explained in more detail just what exactly this years car brings to the table compared to last years model.
“We’ve pushed the guys quite hard in areas outside their comfort zone,” he said. “Most of It is under the skin and you can’t see it from here, but rear suspension, front suspension and aerodynamics have all been pushed hard and they’ve done a really good job in the wind tunnel. The car is a step up and improvement from last year and we’ve worked on consistency to make the car a lot easier to drive.”
Paul di Resta, who took to Silverstone to give the car a shakedown after the launch, was bullish about the teams prospects for 2013.
“Seeing the car built and complete for the first time is a special feeling,” he exclaimed. “I’ve followed its progress in the tunnel and it looks very impressive – aggressive and fast. Now I’m just eager to get out there and see where we stand compared to our competitors. After the winter I feel refreshed and keen to get back to business.”
Force India once again retains Mercedes engines this season but is rumoured to be shopping around for a return to Ferrari engines in 2014 when a string of new technical regulations enter the sport. It is expected that their current test driver and Ferrari favourite Jules Bianchi will line up at the team this year to help ‘sweeten’ the deal, with former driver Adrian Sutil also tipped to be in with a shot at a race seat in 2013.
(Images copyright Sutton Images)