Force India VJM04, 2011

Force India VJM04 – first pictures

2011 F1 cars

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Force India have revealed the first images of their 2011 F1 car, the VJM04.

The VJM04 is the first car designed by new technical director Andrew Green. Its predecessor achieved the team’s best-ever constructors’ championship position of seventh.

This year the team say they want to finish in the top five.

The team will use Mercedes power for the third year in a row.

Chairman Vijay Mallya said: “This year there is even more to be optimistic about. We’ve got three race drivers that are hungry to take the next steps in their careers, whether that be points, podiums or wins.

“We have an experienced technical team that have the ingenuity, flexibility and drive to adapt to the new wave of rule changes, and we also have the tools and resources in our partnerships with McLaren Applied Technologies and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines to aim even higher.

“Not to mention the very special event, and one that I personally can’t wait for, the inaugural Indian Grand Prix. What better place would there be to reach some of those aims than on our home soil?”

Adrian Sutil said he hopes to finish in the top ten in the drivers’ championship for the first time this year:

“The progress the team has shown over the past two years has been very impressive and what I’ve seen in the factory and at the wind tunnel over the past weeks indicates that the rate will continue this year.”

Paul di Resta makes his F1 debut with the team this year. He said: “I don’t want to say exact targets on record as there are so many factors that can come into play.

“What I do want to do is to have a positive approach, finish, be consistent and contribute strongly to the team’s overall performance. We’ve got high aims of finishing in a good constructors’ championship position and I know that I’ve got to play my part in this.”

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Technical director Andrew Green explained some of the changes on 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 conventional style.

“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 team have recruited a new senior tyre engineer, Jun Matsusaki, to help with the switch to Pirelli tyres.

Greem also confirmed the new car will use a Kinetic Energy Recovery System: “‘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 vehicle compromises.”

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2011 F1 cars

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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134 comments on “Force India VJM04 – first pictures”

  1. High nose and high sidepods. Interesting choice.

    Glad I stayed up until 1am to see it, but I wasn’t expecting it for another two hours at least.

    1. Hear hear PM! Now to bed and up in 6 hours! But it’s a nice looking car – probably the least changed car since the Red Bull. I like it how they’ve traded some of the boring white for some more orange, but I really don’t like the Mercedes pioneered split air intake. It doesn’t even look like it’d hold up in a rollover situation, to me…

      1. learnt it from (go to 2011 regulations) that the blade design is banned for safety reason. MGP W02 didn’t sport the design they pioneered…strange !

        1. It’s not banned, it’s been discouraged by the requirement to have a large cross-sectional area. This is still legal as it’s large enough.

        2. When was the last time an F1 car went upside down?

          1. Webber, but it came the right way up before it landed ;-)

          2. Heidfeld in Indy 2006 had a rollover after contact:

            But I remember at the Nurburgring 1999 Pedro Diniz had a big one where the roll hoop dug into the ground and pretty much failed:

          3. Apologies for double post, links didn’t show up the first time.

            Heidfeld crash:

            Diniz crash:

    2. front wing is the same used last year!!

      this car says the team is short on funds!! big time!!

      1. Or like most other teams they are just not showing their new innovations until as late as possible.

      2. No it will be using the same pieces as last year to avoid giving away any clues away about other plans.

        They only show the main chassis at this time.

      3. Or you are just ignoring the fact that nearly every team that has launched this year, including Ferrari and McLaren, are using old front wings? it shows nothing. Launches are an opportunity to show off a new livery and also give the sponsors some air-time or column inches.

        1. i guess they will bring new updates later on, but what they have said is front section upgrade will come at 1st Europe race. thats why i said they may have lacked resources to get it for the first race.

    3. Looks ordinary.

      About as fast as the virgin, but a bit quicker than the lotus.

      1. This kind of comment crack me up.

        How can you tell?

      2. wow. either you are a genius and should certainly follow a careers in F1 (who needs wind tunnels of CFD! ;) ) or you are being a little short-sighted.

      3. I concur. The increase in orange and green paint over the white of last years car is going to make this rendition a bit more efficient when heading into a headwind and at the same time lose efficiency with a tailwind. I also suspect the car will likely lose .10 of a second for every left hand turn it makes. The heavy use of green will make this car slightly more right hand turn efficient.

      4. infy, what’s thebet that the Lotus is faster than the virgin?

        I think so

    4. They did state online the time that thy were planning to reveal the car ;).

    5. miguelF1O (@)
      9th February 2011, 10:51

      I like how slick the airbox looks like but i dont like how boxy iss the nose it looks like the 09 renault

  2. More green and more orange too, looking good! And PM you have your asymmetric wish too :)

    1. Yeah, but the way the livery is streaked and broken over the engine cover and sidepods reminds me of the Renault R29 …

      1. Nah, I disagree on the livery. I reckon the FI livery of ’09 and ’10 was one of the best ever. This looks rubbish in comparison imho. Worse even than HRT…

        And on a different issue – am I missing something or are shark fins now banned or is everyone dropping them as they might muck up the moveable rear wing?

        1. they’re not banned as such but there’s a rule preventing bodywork from being within a certain distance from the rear wing plane so full shark fins are no longer possible to incorporate

        2. Not completely, but this is the reason for them all staying swooping down towards the rear of the car…

      2. Except better looking than the R29 :)

        1. Look like they have designed exhaust same way as the Lotus-Renault-GP

      3. The only asymmetric thing is the near-diagonal colouring on the nose.

  3. I can’t watch the feed. Stuck at 00:00:00:00.

    1. Same as me :(

    2. Farce India? ;-)

    3. Shows the wisdom of Virgin lettion the virtual on line show be this year. That was their first blunder.

  4. i don’t like it, don’t think it will be quick, but i’m no expert

  5. cant’ watch feed either

    1. same the feed stuck on 00000000

      1. Site is down now….

        Way to make yourself look small time.

  6. Ooooo, blade airbox for them too.

    Shame the launch feed did nothing other than occupy a tab on my browser though…

    1. I think they’re unsafe. I didn’t like them from the moment I saw them. It looks like the thin part would just break off in the vent of a roll-over, leaving nothing but the flimsy air intakes to protect the driver’s head from being driven into the ground. Put bluntly, I don’t think that is a rollover hoop at all.

      1. *event of a rollover. Not ‘vent’! :P

      2. They are subjected to the same crash tests as the standard airbox integrated roll structures:

        “A load equivalent to 50kN laterally, 60kN longitudinally in a rearward direction and 90kN vertically, must be
        applied to the top of the structure through a rigid flat pad which is 200mm in diameter and perpendicular to
        the loading axis.”

        1. Great stuff! Thanks for clearing that up. My new angle of attack is; they’re extremely ugly! :P

          1. Lol @ damon, nice one man!

          2. It’s hard to argue with that. :D

          3. ha ha good one. The FIA mentioned that the blade design will easily cut through sand or grass posing more risks for the driver’s head

      3. do you know how strong carbon fiber composite was? the tub had several crash test to make sure it safe.

  7. Neatly packaged car. Bit of a big nose. Livery refreshened. No big supprises.

    1. Nother evolution really isn’t it. Didn’t expect much more when you think about what happened in the second part of last year.

      Wonder where it’ll come though, reckon WIlliams may have escaped them, so battling with Sauber and Torro Rosso? That’d be a shame, hope there back to where they seemed to have reached last year, being midfeild leaders with Williams.

      1. They must be hiding most of the parts. I feel that car will be straight along with williams.

      2. They lost James Key. I think that really hurt them.

      3. From the looks of it, they might have those Red Bull exhausts in tunnels on the car.

        I suppose the split airbox is a really new one for them. Interesting Mercedes dropped it while Gascoyne and Green adopted it (they do know each other from the Jordan days don’t they?).

        Probably enough experiments for a start.

  8. More orange= good
    Less green= bad
    Black rear wing= ugly

    1. The front view is pretty nice, but from the sides it does not work that well. There is just to much white and little colour on the air box and back of the sidepods.

    2. i think its actually a pretty good livery, better than the HRT, nice new avatar btw Ned!

    3. il Bruno
      il Buemi
      il Kovalainen…

  9. I hate the little green bits at the back.

  10. Waiting for the countdown to finish.

    Gets to zero.

    Keith posts pictures.

    Great work as always Keith. Nice livery, more Orange and green is good and a little more funky.

    1. Thanks Tommy :-)

  11. lol cant watch it, they were saying “no trouble taking the load of viewers, it’s live stream :)”

    Nothing new i guess…
    New link Force india have given on twitter:

    1. nvm just a damn pic lol

  12. So another team have workeed out how to get away with the blade rollhoop…

    Not sure about the livery yet…

    1. I’m not a fan of the livery.. but the car chassis design looks nice.

  13. It’s a very conventional design. Even moreso than the Ferrari. Paint me underwhelmed.

    1. also the center of gravity seems to be high, hence i expect this car to struggle in corners big time!!

      1. Did you design the car? if not better try designing one.

        1. dude back @ ya, you can 20 or 100 set ups. but the basic chassis can’t be change. the center of gravity will not be different due to different setups. only minor changes can be done by placing the ballast. but again the impact of aero on the car would impact the COG depending on where the downforce is coming from. So i’m hoping they have some key development program to address these issues. btw i do feel they have done right to opt for a pull rod suspension at the rear.

      2. Wow, you must be highly wanted in the F1 engineering circuit then.. Duh!!!

        1. Oh.. that was for Mr. Dev btw!

      3. Now that you mention it, it does seem to be packaged unusually high from the ground. High speed corners shouldn’t be a problem but maybe the lower ones?

        Unlikley they haven’t thought of that though. However much their technical departments been gutted.

        1. Apart few sarcasm above, which I appreciate as a sarcastic individual myself…

          I feel, that the car seems high, FI has mainly struggled on tracks which have plenty of slow corners, for instance Hungaroring circuit. When the car is high, it suffers from lack of grip in slower corners, also that is a disadvantage while braking into and accelerating out of corners…

          i feel they will be at the same level as last year, unless they have some surprise to show with respect to exhausts, rear end of the car & the front wing.

          1. Dude! Teams use different setups for every race to suit the track. They