Force India – India’s first F1 team is all set to unveil its F1 car for the 2008 championship. Vijay Mallya will take the covers off team’s latest car in front of the media at a ceremony in Mumbai on 7th February.The unveiling of the car will happen at the Gateway of India. The car would be powered with an engine supplied by Ferrari. Force India’s 2008 car is expected to be the same basic chassis as used by Spyker, last year with changes to the aerodynamic package. Force India has already confirmed Giancarlo Fisichella, Adrian Sutil and Liuzzi as its ’08 drivers. Giancarlo Fisichella, the ex-Renault driver, will be the lead driver, partnered by Adrian Sutil, who was actually with the same team — Spyker-Ferrari F1. Vitantonio Liuzzi moves from the Red Bull team to become the team test driver. Vijay Mallya’s joint venture company, Orange India Holdings (OIH), purchased the Spyker Formula One Team from Spyker Cars NV in October 2007 and branded the new company as Force India Formula 1. Team Spyker finished 10th in the overall 2007 championship.
Force India at the Barcelona test:
On the opening day of the three-day testing(1-3rd February), Force India’s lead driver Fisichella had a highly productive outing at the Circuit de Catalunya, where he completed 100 laps — most by a driver — and clocked his best lap of 1min 23.015 to finish behind McLaren’s Hamilton (1:22.263), Renault’s Fernando Alonso (1:22.889) and Robert Kubica (1:22.983) of BMW Sauber.
After the successful first day, the car unfortunately developed some mechanical issues on the 2nd day at the Barcelona circuit. Tonio Luzzi had a more difficult session as he ran through set-up and work on engine installation and cooling, however with a clutch and driveline problem interrupting running, the Italian struggled to find a good rhythm and match yesterday’s relative pace. He nevertheless completed 61 laps of the Spanish track with a best lap of 1min 24.263.
Adrian Sutil concluded the Barcelona test on the third day with a best lap of 1min 23.800. He completed just under 90 laps (out of 100 laps). The team ended the run after premature end the car had developed a minor mechanical issue towards the close.
What can we expect?
“I think there are three or four teams we can target and by the middle of the year maybe more than that.” Technical director for Force, Mike Gascoyne said.
“I do not for a minute underestimate the challenges,” “I know that the spotlight is on us and the expectation level is running high,“I have said we will not produce any miracles in 2008 but we will show that Force India is going in the right direction”, “My objective is that by 2010, the time of the first Indian Grand Prix, Force India will rightfully occupy a place on the podium Force India’s chairman Vijay Mallya said.
Vicky.in is specially invited to witness the launch of Force India’s 2008 Formula One car.