Force India launch VJM10 for team's 10th Formula 1 season in 2017
"I expect a very big year for the team," says Sergio Perez; Boss Mallya targets third place in the Constructors' Championship
By James Galloway and Pete Gill
Last Updated: 24/02/17 12:06pm
Force India have unveiled their new car, the VJM10, for 2017 as they aim to build on their most successful season of Formula 1 from last year.
Sergio Perez and new team-mate Esteban Ocon pulled the wraps off the Mercedes-powered car at Silverstone, the circuit located opposite Force India's factory. The VJM10 features a reconfigured livery with silver rather than black now the car's predominant colour.
"I trust totally this team," said Perez. "I expect a very big year for the team."
The new season is the team's 10th under the ownership of Vijay Mallya with 2016's fourth-placed Constructors' Championship finish the best in Force India's history.
Considered to be the best 'pound-for-pound' outfit in F1, Force India are aiming to continue their progress in the first year of the sport's new aero design rules with boss Mallya targeting a top-three finish.
"We are dreaming big but we're going to give it all we've got," Mallya vowed. "All the data shows this is a cracker of a car."
Perez, who claimed podium finishes in Monaco and Azerbaijan in 2016, added: "There are plenty of reasons to be very hopeful we can do the next step as a team.
"In none of the teams that I've been with in Formula 1 I've seen this level of confidence, organisation, everyone doing their jobs. We have plenty of reasons to be hoping for a great year. I think Force India will give a big surprise this year, I have a feeling we have done a tremendous job over the winter."
Who's who at Force India in 2017?
|Race driver||Sergio Perez|
|Race driver||Esteban Ocon|
|Team principal||Vijay Mallya|
|Deputy team principal||Bob Fernley|
|Chief operating officer||Otmar Szafnauer|
|Technical director||Andrew Green|
|Sporting director||Andy Stevenson|
In keeping with the other teams to have launched their 2017 car so far, Force India's technical chief Andrew Green said the VJM10 contained few carry-over parts from last year's car.
Perez said simulation date pointed to lap-time gains of up to six seconds.
"It's a big step from last year to this year," the Mexican added. "We expect four to six seconds how much quicker the car goes.
"The amount of downforce we are going to be generating this year, I think I'll have to go back and keep training my neck!"
Having enjoyed almost year-on-year progress up the grid over the last decade, Force India finished ahead of former champions Williams and McLaren last season.
Nico Hulkenberg's winter departure for Renault means the team's line-up undergoes its first change since 2014, with Mercedes protege Ocon joining Perez after making his F1 debut with Manor in the second half of last season.
Sky F1 analyst Mark Hughes said: "Realistically, to get in the top three would require one of the big teams really messing up big time. We've got a big aerodynamic change in regulations coming for 2017 and you never know, it's possible that somebody does mess up in those circumstances.
"But in the long run, the top teams invariably end up in the top positions. If they could keep banging in fourth and fifth places in the Constructors' Championship, because that brings it's own reward and helps towards the team's stability as well, they'd be doing really well."
Tuesday February 21: Renault RS17
Wednesday February 22: Force India VJM10
Thursday February 23: Mercedes W08
Sunday February 26: Red Bull RB13, Online and Toro Rosso STR12, Barcelona
The first F1 pre-season test starts on Monday February 27 and the Sky Sports F1 Digital team will be providing live commentary from dawn until dusk on all four days while Sky Sports News HQ will also deliver live updates from trackside.