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Force India take wraps off the VJM05 03 Feb 2012

(L to R): Paul di Resta (GBR), Nico Hulkenberg (GER) and Jules Bianchi (FRA) with the new Force India VJM05.
Sahara Force India VJM05 Unveil, Silverstone, England, Friday, 3 February 2012 Force India VJM05 front wing and nose detail.
Sahara Force India VJM05 Unveil, Silverstone, England, Friday, 3 February 2012 Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg unveil the Force India VJM05 (L to R): Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India.
Sahara Force India VJM05 Unveil, Silverstone, England, Friday, 3 February 2012 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM05.
Sahara Force India VJM05 First Run, Silverstone, England, Friday, 3 February 2012

Sharing the media spotlight with Ferrari, Force India unveiled their 2012 car in the pit lane at Silverstone on Friday morning. The team, who are based just down the road from the UK track, hope the VJM05 will prove quick enough to push them firmly into the midfield following their excellent progress in 2011, which saw them take sixth in the constructors’ standings.

“We have set our sights on challenging for fifth place,” explained team principal Dr Vijay Mallya. “To do so we will need to begin the new campaign by delivering the kind of form we showed in the second half of 2011. I believe this is a realistic goal and that we have the talent and determination to realise these ambitions.”

The Mercedes-engined machine boasts heavily revised sidepods and a stepped nose, in line with this year’s regulation changes, with camera housings mounted at its tip giving a 'hammerhead' appearance. It is the second car to be created under the watch of technical director Andrew Green.

“The car looks more refined; a lot racier and a lot more purposeful,” said Green following the launch. “You can start to see the aerodynamic concepts coming through now. It looks quite a bit different to the previous years, and so far the performance in the tunnel has been encouraging.”

The VJM05 will be raced by Scotland’s Paul di Resta and Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg, who were both in attendance at the launch, alongside newly-signed third driver Jules Bianchi.

“Seeing the new car built and complete for the first time is always an exciting moment,” said Di Resta. “It’s when you realise that all the waiting is finally over and the season is beginning for real. I’ve had a good winter and I’ve recharged my batteries, but now I’m fully focussed on 2012 and looking forward to the start of testing. There’s a really positive feeling in the team, good stability and hopefully we can pick up where we left off at the end of last year.”

Hulkenberg, who was the team’s third driver in 2011, added: “I saw the new car in the wind tunnel a few times and followed its progress during the winter. It looks aggressive and fast, but we won’t know where we stand until we get out there and compete against the others.

"Preparations for the new season have been full-on with simulator sessions and lots of fitness training. I feel ready to get back to racing and I’m excited to find out what the new car feels like next week.”

With the pit-lane photos complete, Di Resta had the pleasure of giving the VJM05 its track debut as he conducted a brief shakedown of the car around the Silverstone circuit. It will begin its pre-season testing in earnest next week, at Jerez in Spain from Tuesday.

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