- Feb 11, 2008
Force India blings out the VJM01
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Force India F1 became the latest team to unveil its new car for 2008 late last week when it took the wraps off of the VJM01 at a glitzy Bollywood-style affair in Mumbai. While to outsiders all F1 cars might look the same from year to year and from team to team, in this case it actually is the same. VJM01 is just a repainted Spyker F8-VII, which the rebranded team inherits from its predecessors. So the real news is the racing livery, which Force India displayed on the renamed car for the first time on Thursday.
As you can see from the pictures, the Ferrari-powered VJM01, named for the team's new owner Vijay Mallya, has a base white paint job with gold and "tungsten" (dark silver) accents and a little red thrown in just for fun. Its primary sponsor is Kingfisher, the airline and brewery that Mallya owns and which previously sponsored Toyota. With Super Aguri's fate hanging in the balance, Force India became the second to last team to confirm its drivers for 2008, with Giancarlo Fisichella joining Adrian Sutil behind the wheel, while Tonio Liuzzi is relegated to test responsibilities.
[Source: Force India F1]
Despite running the same car as last year, Mallya declared his unbridled ambition to take his team from the back of the grid, where it firmly sits now, to mid-field by the end of the upcoming season, and to finish on the podium at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix in 2010. Given the level of competition which Mallya embraced in his speech, and the rate of ownership turnover this team has suffered over the past few seasons, it'll likely take more than a fresh coat of paint to get there.