F1: Force India unveils new unusual design car for 2012
Force India today unveiled an unusual concept in design for their car ahead of the new Formula One season.
Three unveilings have so far taken place - Caterham, McLaren and Force India - and three very different styles of nose have been on show. Clearly the teams concerned have all interpreted the new rule from the FIA relating to a lower nose in their own way.
The Force India, the VJM05 that had the wraps taken off it in the pitlane at Silverstone just across the road from the team's base, sported what has been described as a 'hammerhead' front wing.
Like the Caterham, the front of the car then has a 'step' where the suspension meets the chassis.
After drivers Paul di Resta, Nico Hulkenberg and reserve Jules Bianchi took off the white sheet that had covered the car, deputy team principal Bob Fernley said: "It's a very exciting and neat package. Each time we saw the car, as it was being developed, it was getting more and more exciting."
Scotland's Di Resta, who finished 13th with 27 points in his debut season, said: "There's a bit more pressure on me this year as I'm not a rookie any more.
"But with what the guys have achieved with the car, I can't wait to get in it now. This season we're going for a stronger start, to finish where we left off after a good end to last season. Last year we met our ambitions of finishing sixth in the constructors' (championship), so now we'll just push on from there. We need to work hard over the next few weeks in the tests to get the best out of the car going into the new season."
After a year on the sidelines as reserve at Force India, after being ditched by Williams at the end of 2010, Hulkenberg has been preferred ahead of Adrian Sutil for this year.
"It feels pretty good to be back. When I heard about it I was happy," said Hulkenberg. "Last year wasn't easy for me, but Force India have given me a chance to prove myself. I've kept myself sharp and now I'm back. Last year I improved and learned, even though I wasn't racing. But I was still heavily involved in the team, I picked up some things, with the only thing missing being the racing.
"Now, ahead of my second year in F1, I want to establish myself. The new car is quite exciting, and like Paul, I can't wait to drive it next week (in the first test in Jerez from Tuesday)."
Despite less than 40 grands prix between them, Fernley insists the team is not taking a gamble on their driver line-up.
Fernley added: "The system we operate at Force India makes the difference for them to be competitive from day one. I think we've one of the most exciting driver line-ups in F1, so I'm not worried about ours at all."
But after their team high of sixth in the constructors' last year, Fernley conceded the stakes are considerable this season.
"I don't think (owner) Vijay (Mallya) will accept anything less than fifth," said Fernley. "It's a good job we didn't finish fifth last year because Vijay would have wanted fourth this year. It's going to be tough. It's not going to be an easy ride by any means."