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Force India launches VJM03 for 2010 F1 championship

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Force India: The Little Team That Could. After decades of racing as Jordan Grand Prix, the team changed hands several times over the past few years, first as Midland, then Spyker before Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya stepped in and took over. No one thought the tumultuous outfit had much fight left in it, but last season – the second under the Force India banner – the team took a shocking pole position, set the fastest lap and finished in second place at the Belgian Grand Prix, making for the best results the team (under any name) had seen since Giancarlo Fisichella won the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix in the Jordan-Ford EJ13.

To match last year's success, however, Force India will have to push its way past Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren, all of which are fielding multiple world champions, to say nothing of a hungry runner-up Red Bull Racing, all the while fending off a field expanded by four new teams. This is the machine Mallya and company hope is up to the task.

F1 designers face a tough choice when laying the groundwork for a new car: It can either be a ground-up re-design, or an evolution of the previous year's. Given Force India's impressive results last season, chief designer Mark Smith went with the latter for the 2010 season. The biggest changes, like on the cars it will be competing with, is the larger gas tank to deal with the ban on fuel stops, and the double-diffuser design everyone's running this season. The engine, once again, is provided by Mercedes-Benz, which powered the team last year and which will continue motivating both McLaren and world champion squad which the company acquired from Ross Brawn.

With Fisichella gone to Ferrari, the VJM03 will be piloted again by Tonio Liuzzi and Adrian Sutil. Former F3 Euroseries champion and DTM driver Paul di Resta, a Mercedes prodigy, has been retained as the team's test driver following his earlier test for the team at Jerez. The VJM03 has already undergone its first test private run at Silverstone,and will be joining the next group session at Jerez shortly.

Source: Source : (2/10/2010)