Jules Bianchi, Paul di Resta, Nico Hulkenberg, Force India VJM05 launch, Silverstone, 2012

Force India VJM05 launch – first pictures of their 2012 F1 car

2012 F1 cars

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Force India have launched their 2012 F1 car at Silverstone circuit.

The VJM05 is their fourth car to use a Mercedes engine. It will be driven by Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg, the latter taking Adrian Sutil’s place at the Silverstone-based squad. The team’s test driver Jules Bianchi was also present at the presentation of the new car.

The team aim to build on their best-ever result of sixth in the constructors’ championship last year.

Di Resta, who starts his second season with the team, said: “The thing we’re going for this season is a stronger start than we did last year.

“Our momentum towards the end of the year was incredible and I think everyone is still on a buzz from that and it would be great to start from where we left off.”

“I want to do better, that’s my main focus. Last year we were very close to coming fifth as a constructor and we met our ambitions by finishing sixth.

“We’ll keep moving on, as long as it’s upwards, that’s the main focus. We need to push and carry that momentum from last year.”

Di Resta and Hulkenberg each have a single F1 season to their name. Di Resta added: “Hopefully me and Nico can work well together. We’re quite young but we’re very ambitious.”

Hulkenberg, who drove for Williams in 2010 and was Force India’s reserve driver in 2011, said: “It feels good to be making a return to F1.

“I was very happy when I found out because last year, sat on the sidelines wasn’t easy. But still a good year because Force India gave me the opportunity to prove my skills on Friday mornings.

“I think I improved and continued to learn in 2011, but in different ways. Obviously I wasn’t driving, but behind the scenes, on the pit wall seeing how everything worked – these are all things that should help me in races.”

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Here are the first pictures of Force India’s new F1 car:

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Quotes and additional reporting by Dan Cross.

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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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91 comments on “Force India VJM05 launch – first pictures of their 2012 F1 car”

  1. I really didn’t like their livery last year, but this reworking of the same colours doesn’t actually look that bad. It’s not great, but it’s less ugly!

    There’s something about that car. It has the stepped nose, but it doesn’t ruin the rest of it. I like it, but I’ve only seen a couple of pictures.

    1. Know what you mean, it looks pointy and aggresive. I really like it.

    2. I really like it too… it looks mean! I hated the fat, high and flat nose they had since 2009, so this isn’t too bad really!

      1. sad about the SAHARA text on the car, it quite ruins it.

        Surely they could come up with something better than: “just write SAHARA in Arial 42”.

        1. Comic Sans or Helvetica would fresh the place up.

          1. Says a lot about the design if someone thinks that Comic Sans would fresh it up.

            If i were the designer of VJM05, i would burst into tears reading that. :D

          2. What! Comic Sans!

          3. I sense a hint of sarcasm here, at least when it comes to Comic Sans… but the font they used is actually Helvetica, not Arial (look at the letter “R” in SAHARA).

    3. I love the livery. All except that Sahara logo on the side.

      1. @tommyb89 @randy @dennis fer-no65 @prisoner-monkeys @keithcollantine have a look at the Sahara logo here…u cant expect them to write it in a different font on the car! It will be like writing Vodafone in “Times New Roman”! https://www.google.com/search?um=1&hl=en&safe=off&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&q=sahara+india+logo&revid=1200413381&sa=X&ei=8QEsT_nRNcLKrAekw4DkDA&ved=0CEAQ1QIoAQ

        1. Don’t get me wrong, i do not expect Sahara to change their logo font, i was merely pointing out the fact that if someone thinks the design would look better with Comic Sans, well…

          Comic Sans is the Justin Bieber (or F2012) of fonts.

          As a side note in my opinion bog standard bold Helvetica for a logo is just cheap and unimaginative.

          1. @randy agree, but there are better ways to integrate the Sahara logo on the car. All Indian teams, be it cricket or hockey are sponsored by Sahara India Pariwar. And the logo looks just right on those cricket and hockey jerseys

    4. agreed not sure about the livery but the actual car look good and aggressive, the designers have done a good job making the stepped nose look not as ugly

  2. The more of these i see the prettier the McLaren gets!

    1. I initially criticised the McLaren, now I take back every word I said.

      1. I actually really like the pointy, angular noses. The McLaren looks very plain in comparison.

    2. I wonder if MCL will be faster or slower without the dropped nose?

    3. I Wish McLaren is competitive, sure it looks good but it will worth nil unless it can perform.

      That trendy nose is ugly but can be the real thing.

    4. The McLaren nose looks much nicer, I just hope they haven’t missed a trick that everyone else has picked up on. Lets face it, McLaren do not have the best record for being quick out of the blocks at the start of a season. Can I interest anyone in the idea of an ugly MP4-27B???

      1. since their 2011’s nose is within the limits, I don’t think they’d miss an advantage. they’ve been getting good results with that design so it was suitable for their car.

    5. I wonder if Mclaren have put a different spec nose on their car for the launch and will actually use same style as everyone else for the season. It could be just Mclaren keeping up appearances the way they always like to.

      1. I’m not sure they can, just because certain parts of the can’t be changed (easily) and I suspect the mountings for the nose are connected to such an area.

  3. It looks nicer than the F2012 for sure. McLaren is still the looks winner for sure.

  4. I actually kind of like it. Yes, the step in the nose is ugly, but the team has run with it, so you’ve got this real duck-bill shape at the front end. And once the shock of that livery wore off – it looks like it was coloured in by a five year-old – I decided that it was as bold as the nose design.

    The only downside? The use of hundred-point ‘Arial’ font for the Sahara logo.

    1. Its not arial. And its definitely bigger that 100pt!

      Sorry had to point that out! I do run a printing business!

    2. I agree, I like how it’s much more rounded that Caterham and Ferrari in particular. I still wish there was no step, but if there has to be then this is how I want it to look. To me this is 2nd to the McLaren so far. Ferrari are very much 4th. The trouble with Ferrari is that the step is a flat profile, by keeping the ridges and having them rounded makes the Force India’s step look less severe and more ‘gentle’ in every direction.

    3. I must say, looking at this car closer, its nose is a lot better than the Caterham and certainly than the boxed one Ferrari presented. And the rest of the car has a nicely refined and thought out design that makes it pretty nice to look at.

      The refreshed livery is pretty good as well, although i do agree on the Sahara written on the sidepods.

  5. is is just me or this is much better than the ugly ferrari

    1. @black I think the FI colour scheme fits the ‘platypus’ nose better than the Ferrari red.

      1. I think that it depends on the angle the picture was taken.
        Platypus nose is just ugly.

        1. well i think they made it not as noticeable as the ferrari – anyway it’s still not a great looking car but it’s the best looking so far from these with stepped noses

      2. The Force India car seems to be just more balanced a design. It’s nose is flat, but it looks organic and flowing, just like the rest of the car (like those heavily undercut sidepods and the flowing back of the engine cover).

        The Ferrari has a strange disparity between the boxy LEGO nose and the flowing forms of those sidepods and exhaust truks.

        1. And the airbox is nice and smooth, while the Ferrari went with the extra opening seen on last years McLaren, making it buldgy

    2. I think it looks way better than F2012. I think it has to do with the colour scheme too. As far as the looks is concerned, McLaren has the best looking car so far. Let’s see what Newey and Lotus will bring…

  6. Aesthetics aside – what is the design logic for the stepped nose? what advantage does it give over a smooth line? from my layman point of view it doesn’t intuitively make sense.

    1. a high nose helps airflow under the car to the diffuser. so they put it as high as the rules allow. The reason why there is a bump when the nose reaches the body of the car is that that can be higher (not restricted by the new rule) What ferrari FI and Caterham have done is to have the suspension mounts as high as possible which also helps airflow and there are some handling benefits as well (that outweigh the higher center of gravity)

      So you end up with the teams tracing the new FIA restrictions to the limit ending up with that nose bump.

      1. Well, I pretty much get all that, but just looking at the Ferrari from the side view, for example, I still don’t quite understand why the top of the car has to run in such a straight line, instead of sloping downwards, even a little, from the cockpit to the wheel – is it just a question of having enough space for the driver’s feet, the pedals, etc.? + it’s starting to look as if the FIA dropped the ball on lowering the noses, no? why didn’t they just mandate a maximum height at the tip of the nose….?

        1. when i heard that there is a new rule that will ban high noses i was expecting it to be something like the brawn or the 2008 cars. this is just ridiculous.

          1. @vjanik me too…..expected a Merc like nose

    2. Comment of the week! I’d love someone to explain it to us. But it must be in layman’s terms.

  7. The combination of those nose bulbs and the camera mountings make for a nose that trumps the Caterham’s.

    And its highlighted by being bright orange, oh my.

  8. If it has a duck bill, it’s a hammerhead duck…is the wide black wing-shaped thing on the nose a new on-board camera?

    And are the drivers trying to hide something round the back (like the Red Bull team on the grid)?!

    1. Hammerhead platypus .. I think thats all that has to be said. Other than that nose it seems the car doesn’t have anything really revolutionary on it.

    2. Yeah, i think that is that camera pod in the front of the nose. I thought there were rules preventing them from using it as an aerodynamic device?

      1. The rule is that camera mounts have to be aerodynamically neutral, like the suspension wishbones.

        Teams put them in different places. Which brings up an interesting question. How much leeway do the teams have in placing those cameras? Is that something mandated by FOM? Just wondering as different cars have different positions.

  9. It seems the trend is for a chisel nosed Platypus look due to new regs from FIA. Only McLaren have so far been able to convert to a stylish design. I hope the rest have a better interpretation of design and style.
    This stepped effect at the front looks as though my Gran has mangled the clay models before production.

    1. It seems the trend is for a chisel nosed Platypus look due to new regs from FIA.

      Indeed. But there’s hope:

      F1′s generation of ugly cars should be a temporary sight

  10. Not as nice looking as the McLaren, not as bad as the Ferrari nose.

    I just noticed the HUGE undercut of the sidepods. At least from that front angle it looks like they packaged everything really tightly.

    1. Yes, similar to the large under-cut on the Mclaren…. I note Ferrari haven’t really done this

  11. Oh God, its not looking pretty : we have the ugly two-level nose, and a wide “mouth” like on the McLaren.

    On the other hand, I see the livery has been slighlty modified, and it looks a bit better…

    But I wonder what is the small part at the back of the car, below the rear wing…

  12. Nonetheless a very tidy package by FORCE, particularly around the cooling, sidepods & rear. I also see the have reverted back to a conventional role-hoop.

    1. Look at what ScarbsF1 has to say about it on first sight – The Flying lap episode from the FI launch!

      really nice stuff

  13. Is weird that I find this the prettiest Force India in a few years? They’ve made the stepped nose work…somehow. Perhaps it’s the livery, but the nose looks ‘aggressive’ as opposed to sin-ugly.

    1. You have platypus fetish?

      1. A flat nose would obviously look better. My point is they’ve made a stepped nose look as good as it probably could be.

        1. @Electrolite

          If you put it that way, then indeed it’s probably the best they could have done with this concept.

        2. @Electrolite

          So far I totally agree.
          I still hope for more solutions that ignore this trend, like McLaren showed.

    2. I agree i like it, looks like a bullet. Wether it handles well is another matter, but..

  14. Best looking horrible nose yet.

    1. Kind of like, “of all the crappy beer my friend has in his fridge, this is the best one.”

  15. Just breath slowly and go back to McLaren gallery and everything will be all right … *breath in, breath out…*

  16. I have hated all FIs since they have been in the sport but this is bloody gorgeous. I’ve wanted them to be less white for ages and they finally are! :D The nose is kind of weird with that dip/step but I think I really like it which means by tomorrow I’ll probably be repulsed by it.

    1. @Steph Still needs a tiny bit less white in my opinion. And more green as well! But I agree, this is easily the best looking Force India yet. It looks arty and fun!

      1. @steph @damonsmedley I like how they have extended the livery more on to the rear wing and made the livery a more complete unit over the car.

  17. Tom (@tomforpresident)
    3rd February 2012, 10:25

    seriously undercut sidepods, practically double floor territory, very nice. These noses really will take some getting used too, i’m usually a fan of ‘ugly’ cars but not so sure right now.

  18. Controversial opinion: I really like these stepped noses. Now I’m used to them, they look angular and aggressive. The Force India looks fantastic, the Ferrari is a little odd but so, so pretty in profile view, and livery aside, the Caterham looks quite good. The McLaren looks bland in comparison…

    1. Agree. I’m still getting over the shock of seeing the Ferrari for the first time but I don’t mind the noses. They’re kind of mad which I like. The FI is just splendid and I only don’t like the Caterham because of the nasty shade of green. I stand by my opinion of the Mclaren: it looks bloated, undefined and has no character.

  19. In aerodynamic, it is often assumed that a sharp profile offers the lowest drag coefficient, but that is not necessarily true.
    You will be surprised to find that the drag induced by the blunt forehead is almost negligible.

  20. It seems FI have taken the Toro Rosso sidepod solution. They’re very flat and low.

    They’ve really made that livery work this year, haven’t they?

  21. Am I the only one bothered by di Resta’s Coulthard-like insistence on painting everything with a St Andrew’s Saltire? Di Resta races as a Briton, not a Scot (Scotland not being a sovereign nation and thus not issuing racing licences), so the FIA should mandate that he uses a Union Flag, like they did with Irvine and his messy trips to the podium.

    And anyway, the wonderful thing about the Union Flag is that it’s a inclusive flag that already has a Saltire for Scotland in. Jenson and Lewis don’t have St George’s Crosses stuck on their cars.

    1. I don’t find myself that bothered by it, to be honest…If he wants to be a Scot rather than a Brit is that such a problem?

      the FIA should mandate that he uses a Union Flag


      1. Fair enough. I meant on his overalls, etc.: he’s British as far as racing is concerned, irrespective of any personal preference. There’s no sovereign country called Scotland.

        It’s like Alonso insisting he’s an Asturian, not a Spaniard (which he is, but only in the same way that I’m an Essex-ian).

    2. I don’t mind too much if that’s how he mainly prefers to define himself. I consider myself Southern, English and British. Those are probably my main identities. I like to think the Scottish people still consider themselves united with the rest of the country as British though. It’s nice to have separate identities, but a combined one is also nice, which is why I think the Scottish getting independence would be a shame, just because it seems unnecessary. It doesn’t bother me that my country is really UK rather than England, and I find it surprising if Scottish people are really so keen to be seen as completely independent.

  22. I think this is the best looking car so far – loving the new livery

  23. this new force india isn’t the best looking f1 car ever but i quite like it. the nose on the new force india is much more refined and better looking than the new ferrari nose, however, this isn’t really saying much as other things such as genitle warts are better looking than the ferrari. to be honest with you, the force india nose looks very much like the nose on the 2011 mercedes car, give or take a few inches in the hight of the nose.

  24. Wow, it looks great! Not just for this years regs, but I think this car genuinely looks good. Now compared to the fat McLaren and the stupidly ugly Ferrari, this thing is beautiful! I hope the rest of the cars have a front nose at least kind of like this one.

  25. The stepped nose AND a moustache at the end of it. I hope that it was only to house a temporary camera and isn’t a permanent thing

  26. Least relevant comment of the day but… WOW! How shiny are those tyres!?

  27. should be a good view from the camera

  28. Force India’s car is definitely my favorite at the moment. It’s not boring (unlike McLaren) and it’s not horrid (unlike Ferrari and Caterham).

  29. Another new car with the stepped nose, which I personally think are ugly. While I have never disliked the Force India livery I can’t say I have been a fan of it, but I think it may be growing on me.

  30. I actually like it, the more I look the more its growing on me. Defo not a shy car and some areas look to well optimised, nice work on the side pod and front wing looks pretty functional. Not as adventurous exhausts as Mclaren or Ferrari but I assume thats what the lower “mini wing” is for on the centre of the lower rear wing beam, to try and utilise the flow for some small amount of aero gain?? I expect to see some clever diffuser work as the year progresses as the cars are going to be running RBR levels of rake to increase the clearance at the back.

    Cant wait to see Di-Resta and the Hulk on track, I reckon they could have made good progress with this car!

  31. I think I may take to referring to Force India as “Mustache GP” this season.

  32. It has the horrible nose, but it’s much less accentuated than in the F2012. The livery is great although I’d personally have left the front wing white, not green. The Sahara logos on the sidepods are horrible.
    The way the cameras are mounted on the car di Resta drove make the nose worse, I hope they change them.

  33. This is the only car so far (With the front-step nose) that I like. The Caterham still being the least, and the Ferrari not too bad, but still worse than the Force India.

    I think the FI looks aggressive and mean. So I’m hoping that it’s quick too.

  34. I don’t want to raise suspicious but…why Force India was allowed to run the new car out of official test sessions? Were some demonstrative rounds allowed or is there some parts of the rule I’m not aware of?

    1. You can run cars for promotional events and media days.

      1. Thanks Selidor.

  35. The fastest and the pretiest cars are yet to launch. Fatest = RBR ; Pretiest= Lotus.

  36. This cars nose resembles that of a romanesc hammerhead shark… and thus I think a name change is in order…

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