Force India to launch new car on February 3rd

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Force India will launch their new car on the same day as Ferrari.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Force India will launch their 2012 F1 car at Silverstone on February 3rd. Added to the F1 Fanatic calendar.”

Senna family happy for Bruno at Williams (Reuters)

“In the family everybody is smiling, everybody has worked very hard for it. It’s very much a family business in our case and we have a great unity and everyone is super-happy about it.”

Marcus Ericsson via Twitter

“Can?�??t understand the criticism about the [Williams] line up. I think both Pastor [Maldonado] (GP2 champion) and Bruno [Senna] (GP2 runner-up) deserves to be there on merit.”

Rosberg: Williams spell ‘not ideal’ (Crash)

“There was the interest, but Frank [Williams] would not let me go. Certainly being four years at Williams was not ideal – it could have been a bit shorter. But particularly the last season there was a springboard for me.”

New Jersey appoints GP project leaders (Autosport)

“Tom Cotter, who was head of successful motorsport marketing agency the Cotter Group, has been appointed as the President of the race promoting company.”

Nominations Announced for the Orange British Academy Film Award in 2012 (BAFTA)

Senna has received three BAFTA award nominations.

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

Comment of the day

As Bruno Senna lands a race seat Williams, Steven offers some considered thoughts on his half-season at Renault:

I don’t think you can just look at finishing results when rating Bruno as there were a few races where he got a much lower place than his actual performance during the race would have got him.

At Spa a lot was made of his qualifying position and turn one accident. However after he pitted for a new nose his race pace was actually fairly strong when compared to Petrov.

When he scored points at Monza its often overlooked that he was last at the end of lap one having driven through the gravel avoiding the turn one crash and had to pit for a new nose as a precaution due to going through the gravel.

He was faster than Petrov all weekend at Singapore a track which is one of the most physically demanding circuits on the calender.

He matched Petrov’s pace all weekend at Suzuka and out-qualified Petrov despite having done no qualifying simulation during practice due to his crash.

From memory he was ahead of Petrov in India when his KERS failed and got screwed by the team’s strategy at Abu-Dhabi when they pitted him at the end of lap one expecting a safety car. Then as he was coming back through the field he had another KERS failure.

He was also well ahead of Petrov at Brazil until the incident with Schumacher which I still see as a racing incident undeserving of a penalty, Especially since the penalty was for the initial collision and not for the one which gave Schumacher the puncture. Bruno’s pace was then very strong and he had made progress through the field before getting the second penalty for ignoring blue flags.

Also it’s worth remembering that he was only three-tenths of Button’s pace when he had the test with Honda at the end of 2008 and Ross Brawn spoke very highly of Senna and did say that had Honda not pulled out and had they had more preparation before the start of the 2009 season he would have gone with Senna rather than Barrichello.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to KeeleyObsessed!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Gilles Villeneuve was born on this day in 1950. This year will see the 30th anniversary of his death at Zolder.

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

51 comments on “Force India to launch new car on February 3rd”

  1. :O Just me?? I thought loads of people had their birthdays on the same day as me..

    Oh well, just me, A A Milne and Giles Villenueve then…

    1. Happy birthday ;)

      1. Thanks.. Family gave me F1 2011 on the PC, so I can now see what all the fuss is about! Expect me to try and start a PC version of the Collantine Cup soon if it all works!

    2. Happy Birthday! Its my birthday as well! 18th is a popular day!

    3. You could do worse for sharing a birthday then @KeeleyObsessed, enjoy the day!

    4. Happy birthday @keeleyobsessed !

  2. I think what Marcus isn’t seeing is that Bruno and Pastor aren’t rookies anymore. They’ve raced in F1 for at least 1 full season now, and we have begun to judge them based on that rather than what they did before they got into F1.

    1. They’ve raced in F1 for at least 1 full season now, and we have begun to judge them based on that rather than what they did before they got into F1.

      As has been proven time and again, categories like GP2 only give an indication of a driver’s talent, rather than being fully representative of their ability. Case in point, Kamui Kobayashi and Romain Grosjean in 2009. While it is true that the TF109 was a much more drivable car than the R29, you could still swear that – based on their Formula 1 results – Kobayashi was the GP2 front-runner.

      Consider this: Pastor Maldonado was the 2010 GP2 champion. However, the 2010 GP2 season saw an asbolute vaccuum of talent at the front end. The Formula 1 grid expanded to include three more teams, and six drivers were promoted from GP2 to Formula 1, including Hulkenberg, Petrov and di Grassi, while Romain Grosjean went to GT1 and AutoGP. So the 2010 GP2 series was an absolute free-for-all when it came to the championship fight, and we have to ask ourselves: how would Maldonado have fared if there was no real power vaccuum in the series?

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I don’t think he would have done much damage in terms of points tbh – except perhaps in Monaco. THe guy is fantastic around Monaco.

        Having said that PM – you have to remember that the R29 was often not a Q3 contender – the Toyota was a regular podium contender even with people such as Glock/Trulli. I’d wager; in would/could/should arguments – that had Alonso or Hamilton; or a (2011-spec) Button or Vettel been in the car; it would have been capable of race wins.

  3. Sorry, @stefmeister – I have to compeltely disagree with everything you said. Your comment reads like “Senna is really talented, and if it didn’t show, then it was always someone else’s fault”. Take India, for example: yes, his strategy failed. The team put Senna and Petrov on a split strategy, and Petrov came out on top. But it is worth noting that the last time Renault had used a split strategy – Japan – it was Petrov who was running the strategy Senna would later use in India, and Petrov made it work.

    I think too many people are too taken with the idea of Bruno Senna being a Senna, and so they are being far more tolerant of his shortcomings than they normally would. Like I said last night, if his name was Bruno Jones, most people wouldn’t bat an eyelid if he was dropped.

    1. Wouldn’t that make him the son of Alan Jones, though? :D

    2. I think people are far more tolerant because he didn’t get a proper pre-season yet. I for one couldn’t care less what his name is, and I wouldn’t think any better or worse if his name was different.

      I don’t rate him that highly but I wanted him to get this last chance. I like to think of Fisichella in 2009: pole position in the Force India, completely annonymous in the Ferrari. Of course Fisichella didn’t suddenly forget how to drive once he switched cars, but being drafted into a team midway through a season is not ideal, and your primary benchmark – your team-mate – is much more experienced with both the car and the team. That was just the tough situation Senna had to go through this year at Renault, and given what he has done, I believe he can improve on his performance with a proper team and a proper pre-season.

      Yes, I know a lot of people who support him because of his name, and the media here in my country think of him as a gold mine, but I don’t think any of us here in F1 Fanatic really care what his name is. Actually, drivers who rely on their names only are generally not well-liked by the “true fans”.

      1. I think people are far more tolerant because he didn’t get a proper pre-season yet.

        A “proper pre-season” isn’t going to be the deciding factor in unlocking any hidden potential that Senna may have (though personally, I doubt it). Look at Vitaly Petrov as a prime example of how a driver can improve his performance – between 2010 and 2011, Petrov moved closer to the Enstone factory, improved his English while some members of the team learned a little Russian, found a new engineer and a new personal trainer and changed his simulator testing program. That’s half a dozen different little things that he and the team did to improve his performance. So to suggest that there is one thing that Senna needs to address and everything will be alright is a little unrealistic. It’s certainly something he needs to look at, but I’d say he has bigger problems – like his tendency to wilt under pressure (like in Brazil) and his inability to convert grid position into a race result.

        1. PM, you are relentless in your defense of Petrov, and I can’t understand why. The man simply did not have what it takes, no matter how well he “improved” over his stint in F1. He was decent at best, and although he did show signs of potential here and there, he had his shot and did not make it. The man was outqualified, on average, by nearly a second by Robert Kubica, and the only “improvements” he made this year were simply not crashing out of races. It is clear you are very bitter about Senna’s success (considering he sort of embarrassed Petrov when he came into Renault mid season and did surprisingly well), and so you are trying to drag the man down. I think what people, perhaps, forget most is that Senna did not race a car for 10 years in the middle of his career. The fact that he lost all that precious development that every other driver on the grid has had, and that he can STILL hop in a car at Spa and outqualify his teammate, speaks loads about his potential. I’d have to say that he is probably one of the most naturally gifted drivers on the grid right now.

          1. I’d have to say that he is probably one of the most naturally gifted drivers on the grid right now.

            Mark. Overstepped. Bigtime.

            Let’s wait until we see something tangible before bestowing such compliments on him.

          2. you are relentless in your defense of Petrov, and I can’t understand why

            I saw potential in him. Turkey, Hungary and Abu Dhabi were all stand-out performances. Enough potential to justify a second season. I do not see that potential in Senna.

            the only “improvements” he made this year were simply not crashing out of races

            And podium finishes count for nothing?

            It is clear you are very bitter about Senna’s success

            What success? I would not call anything Senna did in 2011 a success, except maybe “successfully crashing into Jaime Alguersuari”.

            I think Senna is over-rated, under-performing and the wrong choice for Williams. Williams needs someone who can turn their team around, and that someone is not Bruno Senna.

            (considering he sort of embarrassed Petrov when he came into Renault mid season and did surprisingly well)

            You’re right. Beating your team-mate once is the very definition of humiliating him.

          3. @David-A
            I’m not insinuating that he is one of the best drivers on the grid, but simply that he has a ton of natural talent (IMHO). I’m not even saying that he will be one of the best drivers, or anything of that nature. I like to think of it this way: Imagine Michael Jordan had never played a game of basketball between the ages of 12-22, and then came into the NBA and fought, with an at least somewhat-decent shooting guard, for his starting position. Wouldn’t we all be saying that the man deserves a few more seasons in the NBA to show what he’s got.

            Nothing personal, but I just can’t get behind your driver choices. You constantly deride the likes of Lewis Hamilton, but you go to the end of the world to defend Vitaly Petrov? Sure, Vitaly had a good race in Melbourne, but this season, in now way, absolutely justifies a third season.
            I, for one, think Senna had a very successful stint at Renault. He outqaulified Petrov in 4/8 races, and, as mentioned by Steven, could have done a lot better in the races under more favorable circumstances. He embarrassed Petrov because he should have been blown out of the water by him (if Petrov were actually a good driver), but he wasn’t, and did remarkably well for coming into the team mid-season with no testing opportunities.

            Is he the right choice for Williams? Perhaps. I’m not saying he will be like his uncle, or that he will lead them back to success, but it is quite arrogant of you to assume that you know better than Williams who is right for his team and who isn’t. We haven’t even seen this kid prove his worth, and yet you throw him to the side of the road. He’s a successful F3 driver, and GP2 runner-up. Obviously, he’s not complete garbage.

          4. You constantly deride the likes of Lewis Hamilton

            Only because Hamilton had a season worthy of derision.

          5. I mostly agree with PM here. Senna is good but not one of the best potential… I mean at the moment. It’s interesting to watch him this year. I wish he can show some potential this year if he really have.

    3. But it is worth noting that the last time Renault had used a split strategy – Japan – it was Petrov who was running the strategy Senna would later use in India, and Petrov made it work.

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t strategies tend to vary in effectiveness depending on many factors, one of the large ones being the circuit? If your argument held out then they would have kept Petrov’s strategy from Japan and used it for both cars for the rest of the season. But there’s no chance that Senna simply happened to get the less favourable strategy twice, is there?

      1. don’t strategies tend to vary in effectiveness depending on many factors, one of the large ones being the circuit?

        They do, but renault had a tendency to split strategies at the end of the season to try and scrape a few extra points. They generally gave the “better” strategy to whoever had the best qualifying. Petrov started in front of Senna in Japan, but Senna started in front of Petrov in India.

        there’s no chance that Senna simply happened to get the less favourable strategy twice

        If Renault knowingly gave Senna the dud strategy twice, then they obviously had a reason for it – they thought Petrov stood a better chance of scoring points.

        1. Of course they didn’t knowingly give him the dud, otherwise they wouldn’t have split the strategies in the first place. I’m saying that they probably split strategies because they genuinely didn’t know what was best, and by chance Senna got the one that turned out to be the dud twice.

          1. Chance doesn’t come into it. Strategies are planned well in advance of the race – that’s what Friday practice is for; the teams evaluate tyre life to work out the optimal time to pit – and it falls to the driver to make it work.

            Although given Eric Boullier’s total mismanagement of the team last year, it would not surprise me to learn that Renault resorted to using a bingo machine to decide the laps their drivers would pit on.

          2. Well they obviously wouldn’t run 2 different strategies if they didn’t think both had a chance of being successful. So chance certainly comes into it. And it is down to the driver to make it work- so having KERS fail can be quite a derailment.

          3. If you look at some of Senna’s results at both Hispania and Renault, a pattern begins to emerge. Senna had nine retirements in 2010, seven of which were mechanical. Compare that to the second Hispania car, which had four retirements – and only two were mechanical. And that’s without counting failures in practice and qualifying. The same thing happened at Renault; a KERS failure in India, a gearbox problem in Brazil and so on. Compared to his team-mates, Bruno Senna has had a disproportionately-high number of mechanical failures. Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. But three times? That’s a pattern. While the F110 and R31 weren’t exactly phenomenal cars to begin with, Senna’s frequent retirements for mechanical reasons suggest he is not particularly gentle on his car. Maybe some of those – like the KERS issue in India – were just genuine failures, but I find it very strange that Senna experinced almost four times as many mechanical issues in 2010 than the other side of the garage. I don’t really have any data on 2011, but it would not surprise me if we found a similar trend there.

          4. The trend implies Senna is harder on his equipment, which particularly at cost-conscious Williams would normally be a point against him. However, it’s also a symptom of somone who tries hard and has been handed a lemon of a car, which particularly at results-desperate Williams, would normally would normally be a point in his favour. Often the success of the technique ends up being the deciding factor for which explanation to believe.

          5. There is the possibility he is harder on cars, but that HRT was never going to be reliable, and you have to consider it could well be the luck of the draw. Was Raikkonen to blame for his high rate of retirement at McLaren in 02 and 04? Hydraulics let Senna down several of those times in 2010. I didn’t think a driver would be able to do much to break that or KERS.

  4. It was reported a couple of days ago that in addition to naming-rights sponsorship of several GP2, GP3 and Indycar teams, all cars with backing from Lotus would run in black and gold liveries. I’ve managed to get my hands on this, a photo of Simona de Silvestro driving a Dallara DW12 in Lotus colours.

    1. god that car is ugly. (livery aside)

      1. As long as it’s safer I suppose. I like the lack of red on it.

        1. I like the lack of red on it.

          Total isn’t involved in this the way they are in Formula 1.

          1. Yeah, I was worried they might keep the colour regardless for brand identity (as in, Lotus’ identity across series).

      2. The car they’ll be using for the Oval races is even more hideous.

        1. I had no idea there were 2 car specs.

    2. @prisoner-monkeys Looks OK to me. Black and gold doesn’t do much for me as far as a livery goes but I suppose they made the best of it.

    3. It amazes me that the black and gold livery does not fall foul of F1’s ban on tobacco advertising. The black and gold was the brand of John Player Special cigarettes, which is the only (as far as I know) affiliation with the colour scheme that Lotus ever had.

      I can’t imagine that Ferrari could rebrand their car in the gold and white of Phillips Morris Marlboro Lights and ghet away with it. They had to remove a bar code from their car for subliminal advertising.

      1. @voisey I would think that Lotus not being sponsored by JPS is probably what lets them get away with it. They’re not pushing an agenda, just an identity.

  5. Totally agree with Roseberg, after two years he could have had moved to a better place in 2008, may be a Mclaren spot in the place of Kovalainen could have been the right decision for him. But I still think Mercedes now is the way for him & he should stay there & build a team around him.

    1. @wasiF1 I think he’s landed a dream seat there. Mercedes should be one of the most competitive teams in the future, starting in 2012. The chance to build a team around you like that with the expertise and experience there team will bring is undoubtedly better than being dropped into McLaren.

  6. An interesting COTD, good analysis. However, I cannot agree with all of it. It should be added that Senna got a drive-through penalty for not observing the blue flags at Abu Dhabi as well and I wouldn’t say he matched Petrov’s pace at Suzuka.

    I think that Senna has been bit too inconsistent and has made a bit too many errors. It doesn’t mean he’s bad, I think he can match Petrov and Maldonado although I expect that Maldonado will be doing slightly better in the same car. But I believe there is a reason why Renault preffered Grosjean over Senna when choosing Raikkonen’s team mate for 2012.

    1. Well from my point of view the COTD proves the opposite of the point its trying to make. Just got involved in too many incidents, I can see why he wasn’t retained.

      1. I think he may well have been retained if Raikkonen hadn’t come along though. I believe that Grosjean was more likely to take Petrov’s seat rather than Senna’s.

  7. God I so much want Senna to do well so I can come to F1F and watch PM eat humble pie :-)

    1. We can only hope :P

    2. HewisLamilton
      18th January 2012, 18:43

      I have a feeling PM response would be like this, should Senna do well again this year.

      Senna may be having a good year, but if Petrov were driving then he would be the WDC in the same car.

      1. You have to admit that whatever point @prisoner-monkeys is trying to prove, his statements are unattackable. Obviously when judging a driver statistics tell only part of the story and some personal opinion is involved, but his comments are well-documented and interesting to read.

        1. His statements are ‘attackable’ alight. I have had discussion with him on the forum over Senna and he comes up with the same Senna dribble each time, only concentrating on the statistics.

          1. Senna deserves this chance. He is a lucky guy has had more chances than many drivers who also deserve a spot on the grid such a Di Grassi. So I hope he does prove his worth in 2012.

          2. Senna deserves this chance

            He’s had two, which is more than most drivers get (and the only reason why he got the Renault drive was because the team seriously needed money). I have seen nothing from him to suggest he deserves a third.

          3. Apart from the fact that his first with HRT was hardly a chance, his second was half way through the season. The reason he deserves a chance has been highlighted before, he equalled his teammate Petrov (Whom to seem to defend to the death) both on race and qualifying pace sometimes even beating him. As well as comments coming from Frank Williams who believe that he has shown flashes of brilliance at his time driving for Renault.

Comments are closed.