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Gascoyne: VJM01 is a further step forward 25 Feb 2008

Mike Gascoyne (GBR) Force India Chief Technical Officer Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, 14 November 2007. World © Bumstead/Sutton The Force India VJM01 track debut. Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain, 25 February 2008. World © Sutton Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 VJM01 Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain, 25 February 2008. World © Patching/Sutton The Force India VJM01 track debut. Formula One Testing, Day One, Barcelona, Spain, 25 February 2008. World © Sutton

Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne is confident that Force India’s new challenger does represent a real progression, despite being an evolution of the former Spyker squad’s 2007 car. Gascoyne believes that work carried out since the end of last season has set the new VJM01 apart from its predecessor, the B-Spec F8-VII, and that those improvements will see the team prosper in 2008.

“Aerodynamically, there has been a complete rework of the car,” he said. “With our two wind tunnels in Brackley and Italy now operating full time, we have been able to make a lot of progress in the aero department, so almost every aero feature on the car will have been revised.”

“Last year was very frustrating, but now we are in a position to move forward from a much more competitive baseline. Certainly you will see that with the new development we should look to racing properly with the midfield as soon as possible.”

In addition to the mechanical and aerodynamic improvements that have been completed in time for the season opener in Australia in March, Gascoyne plans to introduce other modifications throughout the year to further enhance the VJM01’s performance.

“The car we race with in Melbourne will just be the start of a continuous cycle of aerodynamic improvement over the season,” Gascoyne explained. “We are looking at significant improvements in the rear suspension and also some systems to improve reliability from last year.”

Spyker endured 14 retirements during the 2007 season but the late arrival of the B-Spec version of their car at the Italian Grand Prix boosted the team’s performance and reliability, and because of this there has been a conscious effort to maintain some continuity between the older car and the new VJM01.

“In some respects we have been able to make bigger improvements by changing fewer parts on the car, which has enabled us to focus more resources on key areas,” explained Gascoyne.

“The B-spec gearbox we introduced was always aimed at four races, and obviously we had the benefit of testing it at the final races of the year. We've now run many miles on that gearbox and we are very confident that we are very reliable in this area for 2008. We have also carried over the engine installation and radiator package, but again have made detailed improvements and incorporated some lighter parts.”

The VJM01, which made its track debut at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Monday, will continue to be put through its paces over the next three days at the Spanish circuit.