Force India have unveiled their 2017 car – the VJM10.
The launch, which took place across the road from the Silverstone-based team’s factory at the home of the British Grand Prix, was streamed online and was hosted by Sky Sports F1’s David Croft and Natalie Pinkham.
Otmar Szafnauer revealed that work on the car started in May 2016. The car features a similar livery to previous years, with a touch more white. Perhaps the most striking part of the VJM10 is the shark fin, which looks somewhat larger than on photos of the previously released Sauber and Renault 2017 cars. There is also a prominent bump and steep slope on the nose of the car.
Vijay Mallya highlighted the team’s need to continue development throughout the 2017 season as a result of the regulation changes. He also took aim at Cyril Abiteboul who, at yesterday’s Renault launch, suggested that smaller teams such as Force India would struggle in 2017. Mallya said: “He may have to eat his words. It’s not about the arms you have, it’s about the quality of your machinery.”
Sergio Perez remains at Force India for a fourth season, while the Renault-bound Nico Hulkenberg has been replaced by Mercedes protege Esteban Ocon, who competed in nine races for Manor last season. The team celebrate their tenth year in the sport in 2017, following on from a best ever result of fourth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2016. Force India have scored five podium finishes in their history, four of which have come from Perez.
With a shake up of the regulations, and with Williams, McLaren and Renault all likely to be strong in 2017, will Force India be able to repeat their 2016 form this season?