At Jerez, we see the online launch of Force India's 2010 Formula One challenger, one day before the second test of the season. The VJM03, which was launched early in the morning, is apparently an evolution of last year's podium clincher VJM02. A standout is its shark fin engine cover similar to the ones presented by several other teams during the Valencia test last week.
Mercedes will be powering the vehicle. It will possibly make its debut tomorrow, on the Spanish circuit of Jerez de la Frontera.
Design director Mark Smith confirmed that that the VJM03 is an evolution of the VJM02 in terms of the design philosophies developed at Force India over the last year. He said that since the company is happy with the direction, it chose to evolve the car rather than "significantly revise."
He shared that the firm has had to deal with regulation changes that have a considerable impact on some design aspects. The removal of refueling from races increases the amount of fuel needed to be stored in the cars, nearly twice the amount it ran in 2009.
The car is made longer and wider, influencing the mechanical design solutions and also the aerodynamics, specifically with respects to the diffuser and bodywork.
Smith said that even with the ban on double diffusers for 2011, the company realizes that it has to push as much as possible in this area in 2010 as there are targets to meet and the double diffuser is a key development aspect of the car.
Team co-owner Vijay Mallya is enthusiastic about the new car, saying that targets for the 2010 season are to exceed the performances scored by the team last year.