Force India's VJM01 to make track debut in Barcelona today

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Barcelona, Feb 25 (UNI) Force India Formula One Team's new 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship challenger, the VJM01, is all set to make it's debut here today just two weeks before the first race of the season.

The VJM01 is based on the B-spec F8-VII that Force India's predecessor, the Spyker Formula One Team, launched at the 2007 Italian Grand Prix.

Developed throughout the year at its UK base and wind tunnels in Brackley, UK, and Aerolab, Italy, the B-spec represented a significant step forward for the small Silverstone-based team, with optimised mechanical and aerodynamic packages.

Force India chief technical officer, Mike Gascoyne explained, ''The 2008 car is based on the B-spec car we introduced at the end of last year. We have carried the chassis over from 2007 to 2008, but the car we run at the Australian Grand Prix will have numerous aerodynamic and mechanical updates, which we will be testing from 25 - 27 February at Barcelona before the first race.'' ''Aerodynamically, there has been a complete rework of the car.

With our two wind tunnels in Brackley and Italy now operating full time, we have been able to make a lot of progress in the aero department, so almost every aero feature on the car will have been revised,'' he added.

''The car we race with in Melbourne however will just be the start of a continuous cycle of aerodynamic improvement over the season.'' Gascoyne further explained that the VJM01 will be yet another step forward and said the team is looking at significant improvements in the rear suspension and also some systems to improve reliability from last year.

''The B-spec gearbox we introduced was always aimed at four races, and obviously we had the benefit of testing it at the final races of the year. We've now run many miles on that gearbox and we are very confident that we are very reliable in this area for 2008.

''We have also carried over the engine installation and radiator package, but again have made detailed improvements and incorporated some lighter parts. In some respects we have been able to make bigger improvements by changing fewer parts on the car, which has enabled us to focus more resources on key areas,'' he said.

Although, the new VJM01 will test for the first time today at the Barcelona test, just two weeks before the first race of the season but Gascoyne does not believe this will be a disadvantage, as the team has completed some strong work over the winter.

''We've been testing new parts and looking at reliability.

''It's just one update we have coming along for the last test and it will be mostly aerodynamic and will have no real impact on reliability. I am not worried that we are just testing them for the first time a very short while before the season as this has been done to give us the maximum time possible in the wind tunnel.

''Over the winter we have really been working with the new drivers, and we've certainly shown a new level of competitiveness, which is something that will benefit us going forward,'' he said.

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