With the introduction of radically revamped regulations in 2017, teams have certainly stretched their technical resources over the winter. However, it’s not just the technical minds that have been made to work, with the graphics department also using up plenty of pen ink.
McLaren have brought an “orange-is-the-new-black” livery to the grid. Toro Rosso have ditched their painted bull in favour of plugging Red Bull’s ‘Simply Cola’ brand. Sauber have gone for gold accents to celebrate 25 years in the sport.
After striking a new commercial deal, Force India become the latest to reveal a striking livery. Like it or loathe it, a pink car is quite a statement. Good for Force India and a great indicator that F1 is in good health.
Force India are often labeled as F1’s best team. They may not have the manufacturer muscle of Mercedes, the heritage of Ferrari or World Championship trophies littering their lobby, but what they do have is an effective design team who convert their available resources into the maximum available points.
A record-breaking fourth place finish in the 2016 Constructors’ Standings was their well-earned reward. It seems implausible that they can improve upon what was a remarkable 2016 and break into the top three.
However, Vijay Mallya certainly believes it to be possible. On Wednesday, the team unveiled their 2017 challenger – the VJM10 – and it is certainly a bold design to match their big ambitions.
With the European season set to begin in earnest with this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, teams will look to deliver their first major update package of the 2016 season. Force India have hinted that their car could look very different when it takes to the track in Barcelona, as the team are set to introduce significant changes to the VJM09, which has – up until now – proved a touch underwhelming.
Over the years, Force India have earned a seat at F1’s table for the underdogs. So often, the Silverstone based squad have turned a lightweight budget into welter-weight machinery over the winter, only to be reigned in by the opposition over the course of the year and 2014 was a clear example of this trait. Conversely, the start of the 2015 campaign was a tale of damage limitation while the engineers could paper over the cracks which formed as a result of a disjointed winter. As it has turned out, Force India have proven that they are just as good in defense as they are attack in the opening exchanges of a campaign.
The VJM08 has been introduced to the world in various stages. First came the livery launch back in mid-January, followed by the VJM07 adorning the new colour scheme in last week’s Barcelona test. Finally, the VJM07 chassis has been parked and we now have a render of Force India’s 2015 challenger – and based on aesthetics, I would say that it was certainly worth the wait.
Speculation as to the scale of the delays restricting Force India this winter is rife and today, the team announced that fans will have to wait even longer for the VJM08 to hit the tarmac for the first time. After missing the Jerez test, the team will be in attendance for the next week’s Barcelona test, but with their drivers putting additional mileage on a car that they have been driving for a whole year. However, all is not lost for the Silverstone based squad.
Despite issues regarding connection to the live-stream for some viewers, fans were able to lay their eyes upon the first 2015 challenger today, as Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez pulled the covers off of the VJM08. Strictly speaking, the car on display was the 2014 equivalent, but with this year’s nose design and a striking new livery, the ceremony was very much a case of introducing a new machine.