Force India: 2009 season status


GP MALAYSIA F1/2008Force India launched VJM02 for the upcoming 2009 Formula 1 season on Sunday. The challenger is currently undergoing tests at Jerez, Spain.

Two men instrumental in early design of the VJM02, chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne and team principal Colin Kolles were dropped from the team just after the conclusion of 2008 season. Then the team changed from a Ferrari to a McLaren-Mercedes engine, along with McLaren gearboxes and hydraulics.  This is a technological partnership agreement with McLaren Applied Technologies Ltd, not McLaren Racing Ltd. which also provides some consultancy advice on basically the whole industrial activity of Force India F1. This led the team to launch the car in March effectively a month and a half late that leading teams in Formula 1. The team will have less testing time that other teams. Will the less testing times on the tracks prove detrimental to its vision to finish consistently in points in the 2009 F1 season?

But Vijay Mallya is a canny businessman. The changes if successful will show that the change was indeed required. Recently he said that Mike Gascoyne was a very imposing person and indeed Force India’s set up was not creating any news with Ferrari engine. With his understanding of the sport increasing with more races for this team he must be knowing what is he doing! Though less testing times can be detrimental to the car’s form this season but we may hope that longer development time can push the car better than the last place finish of the last season (Toro Rosso will have bigger disadvantage in this way as they are expected to launch their car next week only).

A big different might lie in Giancarlo Fisichella”s experience of past 13 seasons. A lot is expected from him as he was given a run for his money from a relative newcomer, Adrian Sutil, to the sport.

I certainly hope that Force India can finish in points for more than a couple of races and a podium too!! Too much?

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