February 8, 2011
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The new Force India VJM04
Force India were the last F1 team to unveil their 2011 car. Today saw the launch of the VJM04 online.
Despite the apparent use of the 2010 front wing, other changes have been made to the sidepods, nosecone, undertray and rear suspension. The livery has also been altered, with a clash of orange and green at the back. Like all of the other teams, the shark fin engine cover has been dropped.
The roll-hoop air intake has been changed from a conventional system to a “blade” design, which was first introduced by Mercedes last year, although they have since ditched the layout.
Mercedes engines will be used as per last year, as well as Mercedes-designed KERS systems.
This is the first car for Force India to be designed by Andrew Green. While they finished 7th in last year’s constructor’s championship, the team say they want to be in the top 5 in 2011.
Green explained in detail the changes to the car:
“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
The engine cover is different, 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.
We’ve recovered a lot of the aerodynamic performance, we believe. 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.
The movable wing is a whole new game, and we’ll be trying to exploit its performance
to the max.
Exhaust management will also be a big area of development this year. 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.
The Mercedes KERS system looks very strong, and we’re really happy with it.
We’ve done a lot of running in the simulator, so the drivers are well up to speed
with how to use it. We’re well developed with what we have to do for harvesting and
deployment. It’s smaller and lighter than in 2009, and packaging required very few