Force India VJM02
|Designer(s)||Mark Smith (Design Director)
James Key (Technical Director)
Ian Hall (Project Leader)
Simon Phillips (Head of Aerodynamics)
|Chassis||Carbon fibre composite monocoque with Zylon legality side anti-intrusion panels.|
|Suspension (front)||Aluminium MMC uprights with carbon fibre composite wishbones, trackrod and pushrod. Inboard chassis mounted torsion springs, dampers and anti-roll bar assembly.|
|Suspension (rear)||Aluminium MMC uprights with carbon fibre composite wishbones, trackrod and pushrod. Inboard gearbox mounted torsion springs, dampers and anti-roll bar assembly.|
|Engine||Mercedes-Benz FO 108W 2.4L V8, naturally aspirated, mid-mounted|
|Transmission||McLaren, 7 forward gears + 1 reverse, semi-automatic|
|Fuel||Mobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)|
|Lubricants||Mobil 1 – for higher performance, lower friction and better wear resistance|
|Tyres||Bridgestone with Forged wheels to Force India specification|
|Notable entrants||Force India F1 Team|
|Notable drivers||20. Adrian Sutil
21. Giancarlo Fisichella
21. Vitantonio Liuzzi
|Debut||2009 Australian Grand Prix|
The Force India VJM02 was Force India's Formula One car for the 2009 Formula One season. It was revealed in a low-key press event, after the car's first test at the Silverstone Circuit, on February 28, 2009, before a public test at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain the following day. The Northamptonshire-based team's car is decorated in the colours of the Indian flag, and is driven by the same drivers as in 2008 – Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil.
Two men instrumental in the early design of the VJM02, chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne and team principal Colin Kolles, were released from their contracts in late 2008, after a conflict with team owner Vijay Mallya. The team decided late in development to change from a Ferrari to a Mercedes engine, along with McLaren gearboxes and hydraulics. Adapting to these new components required a minor redesign of several parts of the car, including the suspension, side-pods and the rear aerodynamics. In making such a late switch, the team chose to forfeit testing time in favour of development time, but were confident that the change gave them a better car than would otherwise have been the case.
At the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix, a revised floor and diffuser for the VJM02 were introduced, as well as an upgraded front wing and reprofiled sidepods. Driver Giancarlo Fisichella welcomed the upgrades, claiming the car's current lack of downforce will be addressed by the new modifications. The team brought further updates at the 2009 European Grand Prix, which worked very well, giving the team their first podium finish at Spa, a day after Fisichella scored an unexpected pole position.
New rules in place for the 2009 season require cars to have narrower and higher rear wings and wider and lower front wings, designed to reduce air disturbance to following cars and hence make overtaking easier. Slick tyres will be re-introduced into Formula One, after being absent since 1998. This will increase the VJM02's tyre grip by about 20%.
The VJM02 had the option to feature a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), which allows energy which would otherwise be wasted while braking to be re-used in set amounts per lap, via a boost button on the driver's steering wheel. The energy is stored in either a battery or a flywheel. This is the result of new rules for the 2009 season. The VJM02 was supposed to use the same system from the McLaren MP4-24, however Force India did not use it during the season.
Complete Formula One results
(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)
|2009||Force India Formula One Team||Mercedes FO108W V8||B||AUS||MAL||CHN||BHR||ESP||MON||TUR||GBR||GER||HUN||EUR||BEL||ITA||SIN||JPN||BRA||ABU||13||9th|
† Driver failed to finish, but was classified as they had completed >90% of the race distance.
- "Drivers: Adrian Sutil". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1, Inc. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1, Inc. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- Matt Beer (2009-02-28). "Force India reveal their new VJM02". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- Matt Beer (2009-03-01). "Mallya: Force India have 'no excuses'". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "Force India revamps itself". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1, Inc. 2008-11-07. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "The new Force India". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1, Inc. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- Matt Beer (2009-03-01). "Force India admit timescale was tough". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
- "New floor and diffuser for Force India in Bahrain". Formula 1.com (Formula One Administration Ltd). 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
- Matt Beer (2008-11-12). "Williams reveal 2009 wing package". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
- "Whiting talks about the new F1 rules". GrandPrix.com. Inside F1, Inc. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
- "A beginner’s guide to the 2009 rule changes". Formula1.com. Formula One Management. 2008-11-27. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
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