The Force India F1 Team finished 2010 sitting nice in seventh place in the Constructors’ championship with 68 points, nine top ten starts and 15 points scoring finishes, its best-ever season in Formula 1. And since every team has to look forward, this year’s target is fifth and podium finishes with the new VJM04 car and a fresh driver lineup of Adrian Sutil, Paul di Resta and Nico Hülkenberg.

“We always want to improve and our objectives this year are to finish higher than last year. So we are targeting fifth place in the championship – and in order to do that we have to score points from the beginning and then all the way through to the end. To do that, we need strong development during the year – and if all goes well, then perhaps even a podium finish or two is an aim,” said CEO Otmar Szafnauer.

The VJM04 is the first car created under the eye of new technical director Andrew Green, who previously worked at Jordan, BAR and Red Bull. From the outside, the most obvious change is that the conventional roll-hoop has been changed to a blade. The engine cover is also different, in-line with the abolition of the F-duct. “But there are a lot of differences under the skin that people won’t necessarily notice,” Green said.

“We’ve recovered a lot of the aerodynamic performance, we believe. We still have a little bit to go, but we are still in the process of the realignment after the end of last season, because it does take a long time to move aerodynamically from one position to another. The movable wing is a whole new game, and we’ll be trying to exploit its performance to the max.

“We’ve also put in a lot of work trying to maximise the potential performance of the new Pirelli tyre compounds. To this end we’ve recruited a new senior tyre engineer, Jun Matsusaki (ex Bridgestone chief engineer), to guide us through the development process. The test we recently conducted in Valencia was a good learning exercise. Exhaust management will also be a big area of development this year, Green adds.

The VJM04 uses engine supplier Mercedes’ KERS system. The team is looking forward to a good showing at its first ever home race in October – the inaugural Indian GP. Hi res gallery after the jump.

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