Force India reveal VJM10; rebuke Renault in the process

A car launch is a time to feel optimistic about your new challenger, share the new look and design with the world and take an opportunity to talk up your team’s chances in 2017. IF you’re Renault Sport F1’s Cyril Abiteboul, you also share some concerns you have over the “arms race” you feel the new season will be and lament for such teams as Force India and their inability to keep up do to its underfunded position.

“I think this season will be an arms race, and I really feel for the teams who are under-resourced,” said Abiteboul.

“When I see this car that we are presenting, it is not the car that we are testing in Barcelona.

“And the car in Barcelona will not be the car in Melbourne. So race-by-race we have got introduction of new parts.

“Frankly I have been in a small team [Caterham], it was not too successful, and I really feel for the teams who have to keep [money in mind].

“Resources will be very difficult for the small teams.

“I believe that most of the car build budget of a Force India will be gone by now, just to cope with the new regulations.

“That is also something that we are taking into account with the level of resources that we have – we should be easily capable of beating teams like Haas and Force India and so on.”

IF you’re Sahara Force India owner Vijay Mallya, you get slightly miffed at Abiteboul’s comments and offer a few choice words of your own.

“I read an article this morning that Cyril Abiteboul of Renault said that poor teams such as Force India were going to suffer in this arms race. Well, good luck to him,” Mallya said.

“He might have to eat his words. It’s not the amount of arms you have, it’s the quality of your weaponry.”

Force India launched its new VJM10 car today with a live stream on Sky Sports F1. They also took time to announce new sponsors and their 2017 driver lineup including Esteban Occon and Sergio Perez.

Force India is a team punching above its financial weight and while Abiteboul is possibly correct on the reliance on cash resources in 2017, Mallya’s team has been able to perform well and run mid-field with limited resources.

The Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 Launch, Wednesday 22nd February 2017. Silverstone, England.

Very much like Williams F1, the team seems to have found a sweet spot between being competitive and in the points and yet sustainable through tough times. They dream big and live in reality and it has paid off with a 4th place in the constructors’ championship in 2016.

Abiteboul is most likely correct but I suspect Mallya is equally correct and perhaps the Renault boss may have picked the wrong “small team” to use as an example.

Hat Tip: Autosport

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Fred Talmadge

I like the start of a season, for any sport really. Everyone is so confident and optimistic.

Negative Camber

I do too. It’s been interesting to see three car launches and three different interpretations of the regulations in varying degrees. I’ve read pundits say that there will be no dual-diffuser magic from anyone but they’re all thinking about it aren’t they? Fun stuff.

Junipero Mariano

What are they hiding in the sharkfin area? What have they seen in the other teams designs that might’ve forced them to hide/rethink theirs? Are they just skipping a sharkfin altoghether?


I doubt anything’s hidden. The sharkfin is so thin it wouldn’t be capable of concealing much. Its there to direct a more even flow of air onto the rear wing, something that wasn’t an issue in the high-rear-wing era. It should also help keep the car more stable through fast corners by inducing understeer, though the size of the fin on this FI makes me think they’re overcompensating – if they need a fin that huge, then the car might be a bit of an oversteering beast. I’d also be concerned about how the car will handle in windy conditions.… Read more »

Junipero Mariano

Thanks for the input! Well, when I saw the shape, it seemed so much larger and squared off and featureless compared to Sauber’s and Renault’s that I immediately thought that the fin was a placeholder design meant to make do for the unveiling while the real one was under wraps until Barcelona or Australia.


That’s very true, it could well be a placeholder – it certainly looks like one. I seriously doubt any of these “reveal” designs are even close to final yet, they’ll all undergo revision and changes when the testing begins, plus they won’t want to be showcasing anything in these reveals that gives away whatever technical advantages they’ve come up with.

Negative Camber

When I watched the Renault launch, they said that the reveal car would be quite different from the car that shows up in Oz. I think you’re right there.

I can’t recall who it was…it may have been Fake Charlie on Twitter…that suggested large lit numbers or position numbers on the fins so fans could see them easier. Why not use the space? Seems like they aren’t putting sponsor logos there. :) Seemed like a good idea. :)

Tom Firth

It’s weird they’ve not even really incorporated the fin into the livery or used it as a sponsor location like this –comment image


I haven’t seen a clear photo so it might just be a trick of the light/colours but are we seeing a return to the “proboscis”?


Yep, 2014 called & want their nose back :


Does that mean we get another twin tusk car?

Salvu Borg

some close photos I seen shows the inside of the side pods like being divided in two, AMUS says Green told him they are getting rid of their S-duct this year, so it could mean they intend feeding their diffuser from there, also Green claims 35% more aero, which is a high number to me.

Salvu Borg

there are plenty of photos on the net from all angles and showing fine detail if you search.


They say the fastest cars also tend to be the best-looking. If so, I don’t hold out much hope for FI this year. Not only does it have that ugly stepped 2014 nose, its shark fin is huge which makes me wonder how unstable the car is. And its livery is the most uninspiring I’ve ever seen from FI.

Hopefully I’m wrong, as FI have been a revelation in recent years, way outperforming their budget. I’d hate to see them fade back.

Salvu Borg

Longshot, “ugly” That’s too generous. have you read what Green said about the trick suspension ongoing controversy?

peter riva

This honestly looks weird (besides the photo op where the rear wheels are on a step)… kind of like a Meccano construction, a little bolt here, a thing-a-ma-jig there….