Force India is the latest team to reveal its F1 car for the 2018 championship, lifting the veil off the new VJM11 in Barcelona during the first official test session of the season.
Long gone are the colors of its namesake country of origin, replaced by the pink and magenta of sponsor Best Water Technology (BWT). Underneath the eye-catching livery, the new chassis has been designed to comply with the latest regulations – right down to its Pepto-pink halo device.
Power once again comes from Mercedes-AMG, which has propelled the team since its second season (when it switched from Ferrari), and whose latest M09 EQ Power+ unit will motivate the new VJM11.
Given its dominance of the current era of grand-prix racing, the Mercedes powertrain has served Force India well. From the back of the pack, the team has emerged as a solid midfielder, finishing the past two seasons in fourth place. That’s fairly impressive, especially when you consider that the team has yet to win a single race, and has landed on the podium only five times in its ten years on the grid.
Will 2018 prove the season in which Force India finally scores its first checkered flag? Only time will tell, but it will have to do so without the presence of its founder Vijay Mallya, whose initials still designate every car the team makes. The Indian magnate has been pursued by officials in his home country for money laundering, and was notably absent from the team’s presentation in Spain – represented instead by COO Otmar Szafnauer and technical director Andrew Green.