Although among the last of the cars to be launched, Force India’s 2009 challenger, the VJM02, was given a shakedown at Silverstone earlier in the week. Today, photographs of the short test as well as some studio images that show the squad’s new livery have been spreading around the Internet. It is currently unclear as to whether or not this was intentional, as the team were supposed to be revealing the car tomorrow just prior to the group test at Jerez.
The change in style for team brings the colours of the VJM02 closer to those used on the flag of India, using the white, green and orange to good effect. The overalls also have been updated and show a nice splash of orange across the front. The team also have extra logos on the car, but these are not newly enticed companies, rather than more of Vijay Mallya’s empire receiving some extra publicity.
For 2009, Mallya has stepped up his direct involvement with the team, taking on more responsibility of the day-to-day running. Last year he let Mike Gascoyne go after the pair decided that they didn’t agree with the future direction of the squad. While this was almost certainly a sizable loss for the team, having the owner around more could prove to be a good motivator.
This year will also see Force India with a different engine supplier. The squad signed a deal with McLaren and Mercedes-Benz which although meant waving goodbye to Ferrari, saw a shipment of engines, gearboxes and KERS components arrive at the Silverstone factory. Having a more complete package as well as technical expertise will undoubtedly boost the team. Whether or not it can be converted into decent results is still an unknown, but Adrian Sutil has looked fairly quick in the past, and Giancarlo Fisichella has enough experience to help with the development of the car.
The new car will take part in the Jerez test this upcoming week where both Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil should get a chance to drive the new VJM02.
Images © Sutton/Force India F1.