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Force India reveals the VJM11

NEWS STORY
26/02/2018

With Toro Rosso issuing a glimpse of the STR13 last week as the car splashed through the rain at its filming day, this morning Force India became the last team to actually reveal its 2018 contender - though the Faenza team officially revealed their car shortly after.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon presented the VJM11 which looked somewhat undignified as its rear end was mounted on a couple of blocks.

The car remains pink though with more white than seen last season. As well as the (sponsor) BWT logos being more prominent, so too the driver numbers are more noticeable.

What wasn't noticeable was the rumoured re-name for the team, though that could still happen in the weeks leading up to the season opener in Melbourne.

While Nikita Mazepin is due to drive the car today, the Silverstone-based outfit revealed that reserve and test driver Nicholas Latifi will not drive the car as scheduled on Friday as he is ill.

"Disappointed I can't be at the launch in Barcelona this morning," tweeted the Canadian. "A serious infection put me in hospital last week and I'm now recovering at home. Aiming to be back on track in the next four weeks. Have to say, the VJM11 looks fantastic."

Otmar Szafnauer, was first to praise the fresh new look: "The VJM11 certainly looks eye-catching in its new livery," he said. "We worked very closely with BWT to deliver an even stronger identity for the car this year and everybody is really happy with the result. The new shade of pink is very striking and really pops out."

The VJM11 was presented with new logos from petroleum brand, PEMEX, on the wing mirrors, while the team's new lubricants partner, RAVENOL, displays its logo on the bargeboards. The engine cover sees branding from NEC as the Japanese ICT specialists extend their partnership with the team for a fourth year.

As well as new colours, the shape of the VJM11 will evolve considerably during the next month, as Andrew Green explains: "The DNA of the car is still very much that of last year's car. We took the decision, quite a while ago, that the launch specification of the 2018 car would be based around our understanding of the 2017 car, but with all new structures required by the regulations in place. It is a starting point, a good reference from which to introduce changes quite quickly; it gives our aerodynamics department more time to develop a car for the first race in Australia, rather than having to release parts early for testing."

After two consecutive fourth place championship finishes, the team remains determined to consolidate its position in 2018, as Team Principal, Vijay Mallya explains: "I see no reason why we cannot consolidate our position and improve. Yes, Formula One is a very tough and competitive environment, but we are an established team with continuity in all areas of the company. We don't take anything for granted, but we will be disappointed if we are not fighting for points at every race this year."

Check out our Force India VJM11 gallery, here.

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