Force India VJM04 to be revealed today

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Force India will give us the first glimpse of their 2011 F1 car today.

The VJM04 will be revealed online at 2pm GMT at

Here’s today’s round-up:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Camera car Rally Andora 2011 (YouTube)

This video shows the scene of Robert Kubica’s crash on Sunday shortly after it happened. Although there isn’t any particularly graphic footage, some readers may find it uncomfortable to review the moments after the accident unfolded. It does, however, give an impression of the speed he would have been going at when he crashed.

Renault on Twitter

“No more news to report tonight. We will give you another update on Robert’s progress in the morning.”

Via the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app

Co-driver explains Kubica crash (Autosport)

“That opening [between the two sections of barrier] makes no sense. But, most of all, we shouldn’t have cars with so little protection at the front. It’s not the first time a crash like this happens – the Federation should think of something to protect the cockpit.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Jerome d’Ambrosio has a new fan:

He is awesome. A new favourite of mine, also so him and Wirth at Autosport International, very humble guy it seems.

Read the F1 Fanatic interview with d’Ambrosio here.

From the forum

Stevo wonders how and when did you get into F1?

Site updates

The F1 Fanatic live Twitter app is up and running after developing a fault earlier this week. Thanks to Jamie for sorting it out.

Happy birthday!

A very happy birthday to Straightline!

On this day in F1

Bad news on this day five years ago as Spa-Francorchamps was dropped from the coming season’s calendar.

Happily it was reinstated in 2007 and with the arrival of d’Ambrosio hopefully this great circuit of F1’s past will continue to be part of its future.

Author information

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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51 comments on “Force India VJM04 to be revealed today”

  1. I guess this video shows why a driver who always tell’s of the extra excitement to be had in Monaco, his love of circuits with a little extra risk in them, an who seems to love to challenge himself might be doing rallying. James Allen wrote an excellent peice on the attraction of such things on his blog. It’s so sad what’s happened to Kubica but, in many ways it completes his character. I hope F1 drivers are allowed to continue to enjoy themselves and be true to their characters outside of the sport.

    And Get Well Kubica.

    1. Yeah, really helps to understand why he’s always been extremely quick in places like Monaco, Montreal, Suzuka, etc. where the men are separated from the boys.

      1. Wow, looking at the video again it’s like watching old F1 videos, the cars flying by houses an people standing by the track. There’s a sort of romance to this kinds of competition that’s enourmously attractive.

        Quite an incredible stage as well, road, sceanery, everything. It’s very clear what he was doing there but such a shame how it turned out.

        1. I agree, it shows exactly why a racing driver will love to have a go.
          Nice piece from James Allen on the why. Boullier has impressed me several times already. I liked his approach to getting Grosjean on the calender again, the way he got Ambrosio out of a dead end and into F1. Now he is very clear about just why Kubica was with them and what makes it work, and keeps supporting that stance. Seems he really understands what makes these guys tick.

          I just hope, that first of all, Rally cars and tracks get a bit of “make roads safer” attention. Todt was already starting on that, so now he has the headline to make it stick.

          And I seriously hope, that drivers will be allowed to have a life, enjoying driving etc.
          Having them do only F1 makes some sense when all weekends between GPs are spent test driving, but surely doing the simlator does not fill the bill for that.

    2. One thing that I reflect watching this video is the guard rails are very straight ended. In Sweden as well here in the states it’s required to have a heavily curved end with impact zone the idea is that it will curl on itself and not ram through the car. In pictures it was hard to tell the construction used but in the video they fly past many of them.

      Either way very interesting track, narrow roads with these step sides, what a adrenaline rush must be.

      Get Well Kubica. Hope to see you back in the car.

      1. Wow, that video certainly makes it clear how the right hand side of the driver was so cut up in a left hand drive car, the guard rail went right through the engine compartment. I have heard of guardrails in the states (mainly in high speed accidents and old, country road guardrails, going through the windshield, but not through the engine compartment. Most newer guardrails (including nearly all interstate guardrails that I know of) either rise up out of the ground (which can flip a car if hit just right but can’t puncture one) or have a big, flat, rubber end on it to absorb the impact and fold itself into a spring shape that absorbs a suprising amount of energy. Of course I don’t know when the last time that I saw drop offs without guardrails like what is seen in the rally video. It is quite exciting to watch, but much like watching Grand Prix, it feels like you are going to see dead/severly hurt people at some point… which we did sadly enough…

  2. It seems like a narrow and rather quick stage, although I’m not sure if there’s a fisheye sort of effect on the camera which could make it look even a bit more dramatic. What’s noteable to me, also, is the moist track as they progress higher up. Tricky circumstances.

    As many have made a point to say here yesterday, I’m sincerely hoping Kubica can recover, drive himself and eventually, hopefully, also race again.

    1. I do think that video was shown in classical view 4:3 comprimed from wide, making it look even narrower.

  3. So that’s the grid complete except for HRT! God only knows when their new car will show up. (It’ll probably be late!)

    1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
      8th February 2011, 1:03

      Official reports from the team and the FIA suggest it will be launched during the Bahrain GP weekend

      1. ive also hear they plan to have it for the final winter test..

        get well soon kubica

    2. HRT will have their car for the last test at Bahrain

      1. Yeah, a lot of people seem to be reading “at Bahrain” as “at the Bahrain Grand Prix”. Going by James Moy’s Twitter feed, he’s seen the livery. So Hispania are clearly at the point where they can commisssion a livery; the direct implication is that, at the very least, the final design of the car is done and they will begin building soon.

        1. They might even have the first car ready and are now preparing shipping of that to Bahrain while they finish the second chassis to have it there for the shake off at the end of testing or at FP1/2

  4. I really hope he can recover. What happened was so unlucky.

    I’m agains those who said he shouldn’t have got a seat in a rally car while being an F1 superstar.

    Teams need drivers to be healthy. And that includes psychological health. If rallying is what Kubica loves, then allowing him to participate from time to time is the best both for the team and the driver. Otherwise, they’d have an annoying robot like Kimi racing for them.

    1. UneedAFinn2Win
      8th February 2011, 5:21

      Well, neither McLaren nor Ferrari let Kimi go rallying so that’s what they got. A WDC.

      GWS, RK

      1. Kimi was allowed to do some rallying (with the FIAT abrath cars).

  5. Ive said it before and I’ll moot it again. The mp4-12c has a monocoque carbon fibre tub, that cocoons the driver and passengers area. This accident, probably wouldn’t have occured in that car, in that fashion.

    I think moves should be made in that same direction for all racing class cars, and perhaps all cars.

    Gordon Murrays T-25 and T-27 has the same arrangement and it’s 2/3 the size of a smart car and cheaper, so there are no excuses.

    1. If rally cars started having carbon fibre monocoques, wouldn’t the cost of rallying skyrocket?

      1. Also, looking at how narrow and twisting those roads are, would a mp4-12c have been able to go there, at speed?

        I think it might be going like that Top Gear episode where they take three super sport cars through the mountains in Italy to find that only the slower, smaller, Ferrari can really handle those, while the Ford GT and the Zonda can hardly make the corners, and certainly not at speed.

        1. Is Hare suggesting the actual MP4-12C be used for rallying? His point is it has a carbon-fiber monocoque which would have helped in this situation.

  6. This will only apply to the British readers, but did anyone see Horizon on BBC2 last night? It was about road safety- kind of poignant I thought after Kubica’s accident. It really gave you a sense of how fragile the human body is and how vulnerable it is in car crashes.

    I know road cars and racing cars are completely different machines, but it still made me appreciate the safety of modern F1 cars even more

    1. Off topic… but I welcome your new avatar! I’ve been confused of late when I see naked Homer but I read “Ned Flanders.” Now all is right with in the world again.

      1. And you have I nice new one yourself I see!

    2. Just watched it on iPlayer ned. Really interesting!

    3. Was fascinating. I recorded it and might watch it again. Those volvo auto brakes looked a bit hairy though…

  7. Interesting discussions (not rumours) currently about who will replace Kubica. Such names flying around include:

    – Senna
    – Grosjean
    – Raikkonen
    – Davidson
    – Pantano
    – Heidfeld

    Theres a very good chance Kubica may be out for a year. I certainly hope not, but theres a possibility this may be the case. My question is, if you were Eric Boullier and you were to pick up the phone who would you call?

    1. I’d chose Heidfeld. Because he drove an F1 car not long ago (last year) and he’s a safe bet if Renault still wants to score points.

      Can’t see why Pantano is on that list, tbh!


        Not really on the cards at the mo, but if Renault are really serious of getting the most out of their car, he’s the only true talent left on the grid that might be prised out of his contract.

      2. I do think Pantano is the personification of bad luck.

        1. And that is exactly what Renault want to avoid at this point in time.

    2. I’ve seen Raikkonen fans leap on this as proof that he’ll be coming back …

      1. I don’t think anyone would complain with another champ on the grid, bringing it to 6. No ones going to turn their attention back to f1 as a result of a Nick Heifeld comeback, many would for Kimi. From a business perspective it’s a no brainer, that’s why I think Bernie will have some part to play. He is after all rather chummy with the Genii folk. That and Kimi is the most naturally talented of them all.

        There will be talk of the money side of things, but even if he got paid half of what his f1 salary was, it is still probably double to what he gets in WRC.

        1. Yeah, but there’s half a dozen reasons why Raikkonen won’t come back:

          1) He’s committed to the WRC
          2) He’s shown no interest in returning to Formula 1
          3) He didn’t like the way Renault treated him late last year when they kept dropping his name
          4) He has no experienve with fuel-heavy cars, and as we saw, Nick Heidfeld struggled in the Sauber C29
          5) He’s notorious for making extreme demands on any team looking to hire him; at the end of 2009, he wanted a full salary, a championship-worthy car and zero PR hours

          But most importantly:

          6) Eric Boullier has said that if Kubica’s recovery is expected to take a long time, they’ll run a reserve driver to begin with and then re-assess the situation later in the year, but there is no way Raikkonen would return to Formula 1 – even with a car capable of winning a championship – if everyone else has a head start on him.

          1. He is just not interested. He achieved what he wanted in F1, and he never showed real passion for it. He has that for rallying. So I dont see him coming back either.

            By the way COTD. Nice :D

          2. Just saw a tweet from @MauriceHamilton :

            Well-informed rally mates tell me Renault have been talking to Kimi’s management team. They ought to talk to Ant Davidson.

        2. Davidson is definitively out of the equation

          @byronf1: Anthony Davidson rules himself out of Renault Lotus drive having signed Peugeot Le Mans deal.

        3. PM I do see your point and normally I would be in your boat but this is a very extreme situation to the point where I am very optimistic about this.

          Kimi isn’t even doing a fulltime season this year in the WRC. To say hes committed to it based on that is like saying North Korea is committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

          From a Kimi perspective – I think he’ll realise that this is probably his last and best chance at F1 so Im not saying its guaranteed, but I feel its more likely than the Kimi to Renault rumours last year. I don’t see the fuel load being an issue. This is a guy who got into F1 after only 20 odd lower tier races, thats all. He doesn’t come across as the driver who needs the car to be inch perfect or hes useless, he just drives (and occasionally eats ice cream).

          From a Renault perspective – Unlike last year where they were in a position where they didn’t need him and therefore could say what they want given worse case scenario was they were end up with a Russian bringing millions, they do need him now. Only days ago fans and reporters alike were talking up Renaults chance of pushing up the ranks. That simply won’t happen with Senna Grosjean or Heidfeld at the helm.

          Optimistic thinking, perhaps. But like many people out there I simply want it to happen.

          1. That and as I said, Bernie Ecclestone.

    3. I’d take only Senna (for his greater immediate experience) or Heidfeld from that list. It’s never going to happen for Davidson.

      1. Heidfeld, definately.

  8. wow, quite a disturbing vid, you can see the safey barrier penetrated right through the car, and into Kubica’s body (presumably).

    1. Yeah looking at that you think a couple of inches either way and we could have been talking about his death. Thank god it only broke bones!

      I hope he recovers fully and races again.

      1. More than bones were broken. He had over 7 hours of reconstructive surgery on his hand and arm. Some reports say the hand was almost severed. He’s lucky he didn’t die from blood loss during the 1 hour he was trapped in the car. Best wishes Robert! I want to see you race again.

  9. Again, I’m one of those who always like Kubica for his good nature and racing spirit. This aside, I can see no reason for him to have rallied on THIS circuit. There is death on the side with no barriers! Thats just crazy. What if he had hit a pocket on the left and it caused his car to jump 200 feet off the side? Now that I see this video I truly believe he is a very lucky man who tempts fate. This being the case I now, despite the talk, believe he will recover fully and drive in F1 next season; he has the support of Zeus for hucks sake!

  10. HRT will probably just re-paint there old car and hire loads of drivers and play musical drivers again.
    Did they actually do anything to there 2010 car over the season? lol

    And a swift recovery for Kubica, shame after a decent test at Valencia.

    1. I don’t really get why people keep dumping on HRT when it’s so obvious that Virgin were the worst team last season and going by the car they’ve released they’re showing great potential to match that feat this year too.

  11. There’s a picture here of Kubica’s car with the guard rail coming out through the back of the car… It’s becoming clearer for me just how amazing it is that it wasn’t worse and that his co-driver was unhurt, and just how violent an impact this must have been. Shocking really. I’ve been in one serious accident and that was a shock to the system and a realisation that the human body vs a ton of metal is no fair fight at all – and that was nothing compared to this. Seriously, without being obnoxious, everyone should take this as a lesson in the inevitability of the laws of physics – slow down and be safe on the roads. Anyhoo, it’s certainly a lesson many people here in Poland could stand to learn.

      1. Holy…I didn’t realise the barrier went all the way through the car :O ! That picture definitely explains why it took so long to get him out of the wreckage though and makes me dread the thought of what would have happened if it was a few more inches to the left.

  12. Weren’t Mclaren doing a shake down today

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