Force India Launches VJM05 Challenger In England

SILVERSTONE, England- Following a very consistent season in 2011, with many top 10 finishes, the newly sponsored Sahara Force India team launched the new VJM05 challenger at the team’s popular Northampshire venue on Friday with the aim of moving up the grid for possible podium finishes.

The car itself features a similar nose feature that is familiar with the Caterham and Ferrari models, along with slimmer side pods. Scottish driver Paul Di Resta, who returns for a second season, believes that the aim of this year’s car is to move up the grid and finish fifth in the constructor’s standings ahead of rival Lotus, who they just missed out by four points last year.

“That’s the big aim this year, to come fifth as a constructor,” di Resta said to the press. “But to achieve that you’re going to be overtaking a car manufacturer, which is a big thing in Formula One and a world championship (winning) team at that.

“We need to make that next step and the dedication of everyone around here – the buzz is still around – and I’m sure we’re ready to make that step should our machine give us the competitiveness we need.”

Joining the rookie of the year last season is German Nico Hulkenberg, who drove for Williams in 2010 and managed to win the pole in Brazil that same year. But last season, Hulkenberg did not renew his contract with the Grove based team, opting instead to join Force India as a test driver. But this year with the dismissal of fellow countryman Adrian Sutil, Hulkenberg simply was moved into the second race slot. The team will just out of coincidence, will be using Mercedes customer engines for another season.

But Hulkenberg believes that his risk of staying out of the racing car full time might have given him enough patience to come back a year later, but he believes that it will take time to adapt to he is fully up to speed.

“I only know Pirellis from Friday morning FP1 and it was usually the medium or hard compound, so there’s definitely a lot for me to learn on the soft compounds in qualifying and in the race with how they behave,” he said. “How they drop off, that will be new to me and it will take a while to learn. Also how to use KERS to defend or to attack, that’s stuff I didn’t have in 2010 and that will be new to me too.”

As far as going competitively against his teammate, Hulkenberg is not too optimistic.

“We’re both competitive guys and you always want to beat your team-mate – that’s always the first thing because he’s in the same car as yourself,” Hulkenberg said. “He has a little bit of an advantage because he was racing last year and I was on the sidelines. It will take a little bit of time to get back into shape, to get that rust off of me in qualifying and in races. But I’ll work hard and try to make that happen pretty quickly.”

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