Thursday, February 7, 2008

Force India rolls out its first F1 car

Force India, India's entry in the 2008 Formula One World Championship, unveiled its car and team colours for the upcoming season, which begins in Melbourne on March 16.

Calling it a "red letter day in the history of Indian motorsport", Force India owner and liquor baron Vijay Mallya unveiled the new car and the team's three drivers dressed in the team colours of white, tungsten, gold and red at a ceremony at the historic Gateway of India in South Mumbai.

The car, called VJM01, is expected to have its first run during the next test session of the team to be held in Barcelona from February 25 to 27.

The team, formerly the Spyker, had earlier expressed reservations on the car's aerodynamics ahead of the upcoming season.

However, Mallya said a tie-up with aviation majors EADS and Airbus Industrie, through his airline Kingfisher, had aided them in the development of this technical aspect.

"It is time to say confidently that Force India Formula One will make steady progress moving forward."

Mallya presented the team's drivers, Giancarlo Fisichell and Adrian Sutil, and test driver Vitantoniio Liuzzi and commended them on their contribution in the car's development.

Force India had recently tested their car in the Barcelona and Jerez circuits in Spain, where Fisichella recorded the fourth fastest timing during testing.

Mallay maintained the team would have a podium finish in the first Formula One race expected to be held in 2010.

The unveiling of the car had its share of glamour with celebrities including actors Lara Dutta, Shilpa Shamita Shetty and Sameera Reddy present for the function.

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