VJM05 is “a big departure” – Green

2012 F1 season

Force India VJM05, 2012

Force India VJM05, 2012

Force India’s technical director Andy Green says the team’s new car is “a big departure” from its predecessor.

“We’ve got a new front wing which sets up all the basic structures along the car and it’s a big step for us.” said Green at the launch of the Force India VJM05.

“It took us quite a long time and to go away from how perhaps we traditionally worked. The package is a big departure from what we’ve done before and the wind tunnel numbers are really encouraging and we’re looking forward to getting it on the track and seeing if it does produce what it should do.”

Green expects the banning of exhaust-blown diffusers to close the field up in 2012: “The loss of the blown-exhaust is a bigger effect than lowering the nose. Massively bigger.

“We were quite late with extracting what we could from our diffuser last year and I don’t think it reached its potential by a long way. There were teams out there who extracted way more than we did. Hopefully it will hurt them more this year than it will us.

“We spent the winter trying to salvage all the downforce we lost and I think we’ve got close. My feeling is that it should close the field up. You only have to look at Silverstone last year [where the regulations temporarily changed] to see what effect it had.”

Deputy team principal Bob Fearnley said the team aims to improve on its 2011 finishing position of sixth: “I don’t think Vijay [Mallya] will accept anything less than fifth. I was pleased in a way we didn’t finish fifth last year, otherwise we would need to finish fourth this year!

“It will be tough as most of the teams out there are capable of achieving fifth in the constructors’. I think the battle for fifth place will be as equally as exciting to watch as the scrap for the top of the table.

“It’s not going to be an easy ride, by any means.”

All the teams will have to contend with the longest ever F1 calendar this year, featuring 20 races. Team COO Otmar Szafnauer said Force India were “almost at breaking point with the 18 and 19 race calendar”.

“We have put some systems in place to make it easier for the staff to help them on their travels,” he said.

“We’re prepared and I think we’ll do okay. They’ll all do the same races and we won’t be employing additional people to help trackside, but we’ve invested in equipment that should mean on a Sunday night they don’t have to strip and rebuild the car ahead of the next race. It should save them a good six or seven hours. So Sunday will be less arduous for them.”

Quotes and additional reporting by Dan Cross.

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22 comments on VJM05 is “a big departure” – Green

  1. jonchuckle (@jonchuckle) said on 3rd February 2012, 11:26

    We were quite late with extracting what we could from our diffuser last year and I don’t think it reached its potential by a long way. There were teams out there who extracted way more than we did. Hopefully it will hurt them more this year than it will us.

    Wasn’t one of the main reasons FI finished where they did last year because they developed such a good blown diffuser system?

    • literalf1 (@literalf1) said on 3rd February 2012, 12:22

      Indeed, in the later half of the season. At least compared to the Sauber who were compromised with the Ferrari engine and Toro Rosso, who only got it working later in the year.

      They did however had a good overall car concept and this will be the first car they’ve made from the start with the McLaren technical partnership so will be interesting to see how it performs!

      • Solo (@solo) said on 3rd February 2012, 21:08

        What are you talking about? They had Mclaren technical partnership for a few years now.

        Anyway even if they extracted more that Sauber still the top teams gained the most so i guess the midfield teams might not gain much in term of each other by that but it will hep them get closer to the top teams.

  2. SempreGilles (@sempregilles) said on 3rd February 2012, 11:31

    I don’t think Vijay [Mallya] will except anything less than fifth.

    I know this is just standard talk, because every team is confident about their finishing positions and doing better than the year before. But it does worry me a bit. They could take 5th this year, but in the current field I don’t see them improving on that. And with Mallyas financial troubles (Kingfisher isn’t doing too well), I think we could see this team change owner and name if they start slipping back the field or stop improving.

  3. soundscape (@soundscape) said on 3rd February 2012, 11:38

    I don’t think Vijay [Mallya] will except anything less than fifth

    That should be “accept”.

  4. It was silly but my strange mind read that headline as the biggest change was being green which in any other year would probably have been true.

  5. Deputy team principal Bob Fearnley said the team aims to improve on its 2011 finishing position of sixth: “I don’t think Vijay [Mallya] will except anything less than fifth. I was pleased in a way we didn’t finish fifth last year, otherwise we would need to finish fourth this year!

    You spelt accept wrong…

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 3rd February 2012, 12:22

    I think the thing I like best about the VJM05 is the way the team has handled the nose. The Caterham CT-01 and Ferrari F2012 both look like the team have stuck it on because they’re obligated to do so, and, given the choice, they would just run a high nose without the step. But Force India have taken that concept and gone one step further, and it looks like an inverted version of Mercedes’ 2011 nose design. The whole thing looks like something the team could have come up with on their own, even if the rules permitted 2011-style noses.

    I know we’ve only had four cars released so far, but I rank the VJM05 second behind the McLaren MP4-27. There were dire predictions of horrendously-ugly cars a week ago when the Caterham was released, but Force India have come up with something that makes me think that maybe it won’t be so bad after all.

    • vjanik said on 3rd February 2012, 15:05

      when i look at all the cars that were launched so far, the biggest eye catcher is the black square that FI superglued onto the tip of their nose. (not the “drop” noses). That just looks odd. Hopefully they will not race with that come Australia. Compared to that the other cars actually look alright.

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 3rd February 2012, 13:07

    Nice comments about the staffing situation. Kudos to them for thinking about that. 6/7 hours is a lifetime in Formula 1. Though I bet they will find something to fill that time with!

  8. Mike (@mike) said on 3rd February 2012, 13:45

    I still think the Mclaren was ugly, for me this or the Caterham is the best looking.

    I think the Caterham is being hard done by because I think it shocked a lot of people.

    On the other hand, I think the Ferrari’s nose stood out because lot was so flat, with sharp edges.

  9. Walton174 (@walton174) said on 3rd February 2012, 14:36

    I lovveee this car, i think its the best so far, the mclaren was boring to me…
    I hope they do really well this year, it just worries me that its a huge change from the norm for them.

  10. I can’t stop cringing at the platypus noses and can’t imagine what it would look like in action when a bunch of ducks take to the track…

    On another note, Force India are looking stronger this year (don’t ask me how, its just a gut feeling) and I predict a strong battle between Lotus, Mercedes and SFI for 4th/5th.

  11. Fixy (@fixy) said on 3rd February 2012, 17:55

    VJM05 is “a big departure” – Green

    I thought that referred to the livery… :P

  12. Palle (@palle) said on 7th February 2012, 12:01

    The 2012 Force India is indeed a Green car inspired by nature:
    Compare these two:
    http://photos.gpupdate.net/large/192139.jpg
    http://www.netfugl.dk/pictures.php?id=showpicture&picture_id=16656

    The bird in the 2. picture is a Ana Clypeate or Northern Shoveler – a beautiful duck.

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