Brake Glow

An aspiring motorsports journalist’s personal blog.

Tag Archives: Force India

Ferrari, Force India Unveil 2012 Cars

Despite massive snowfall at Ferrari’s Italian headquarters, the famous marque unveiled their 2012 challenger early Friday. Force India joined Ferrari by launching their new car at Sliverstone.

Ferrari’s launch was expected to be quite lavish but, after the snow fell, the Italian team made the decision to cancel the formal launch and release pictures of the car on their own. Meanwhile, Force India held a major press conference in the pit area of the U.K. circuit.

As expected, both cars possess the unsightly “bumped” nose to meet this year’s new height requirements on the nose of the car imposed by the FIA.

Ferrari's F2012 (Photo Courtesy of Ferrari F1)

Ferrari’s F2012: Ferrari released the justification behind the change in shape and how they feel the rule changes for 2012 will impact the Scuderia.

Scuderia’s interpretation of the technical and sporting regulations that apply this year: the main changes when compared to 2011 concern the height of the front section of the chassis, the position of the exhaust pipes and the mapping for the electronic engine management. Practically every area of the car has been fundamentally revised, starting with the suspension layout: both the front and rear feature pull-rods, aimed at favouring aerodynamic performance and lowering the centre of gravity. The front wing is derived from the one introduced on the 150º Italia in the final part of its racing life and has been evolved from there. Further evolutions are planned in this area for the opening races of the season. The nose has a step in it that is not aesthetically pleasing: with the requirement from the regulations to lower the front part, this was a way of raising the bottom part of the chassis as much as possible for aerodynamic reasons. The sides have been redesigned, through modifications to the side impact structures, the repositioning of the radiators and revisions to all aerodynamic elements. The lower part of the rear of the car is much narrower and more tapered, a feature achieved partly through a new gearbox casing and a relocation of some mechanical components. In recent years, the area of exhausts has been crucial in terms of car performance and much effort was expended on this front, based on changes to the regulations introduced this year. The rear wing is conceptually similar to the one used in 2011, but every detail of it has been revised and it is now more efficient. Naturally, it is still fitted with DRS (a drag reduction system,) which is operated hydraulically. The front and rear air intakes for the brakes have been redesigned and work was carried out in collaboration with Brembo to optimise the braking system.

 

 

Force India’s VJM-05:

Force India's 2012 car, the VJM 05 (Photo :Sahara Force India Formula One Team)

 

Force India also touched on the changes made to this year’s car in their press release:

Sahara Force India unveiled its 2012 challenger today as Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg pulled the covers off the VJM05 at Silverstone. They were joined by reserve driver, Jules Bianchi, as the team’s new car was presented for the first time.
 
The VJM05 is the second car to be created under the watch of Technical Director, Andrew Green, as the team seeks to build on its on its sixth place finish in the constructors’ championship and take the fight to the teams that lie ahead.
 
“We have set our sights on challenging for fifth place,” explained Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr. Vijay Mallya. “To do so we will need to begin the new campaign by delivering the kind of form we showed in the second half of 2011. I believe this is a realistic goal and that we have the talent and determination to realise these ambitions.”
 
Chief Operating Officer, Otmar Szafnauer, echoed those sentiments as he praised the team’s efforts to develop the VJM05: “The new car has come together nicely over the winter. We don’t know what our competitors have done, but we’ve made some gains over the winter and believe we’re in reasonable shape. It’s going to be difficult in the midfield, but our focus is on starting strongly and improving our position from last season.”
 
Summing up the approach to 2012, Andrew Green added: “The car looks more refined; a lot racier and a lot more purposeful. You can start to see the aerodynamic concepts coming through now. It looks quite a bit different to the previous years, and so far the performance in the tunnel has been encouraging.”
 
The drivers were delighted to get their first glimpse of the new car and set out their hopes for the season ahead:
 
Paul Di Resta: “Seeing the new car built and complete for the first time is always an exciting moment. It’s when you realise that all the waiting is finally over and the season is beginning for real. I’ve had a good winter and I’ve recharged my batteries, but now I’m fully focussed on 2012 and looking forward to the start of testing. There’s a really positive feeling in the team, good stability and hopefully we can pick up where we left off at the end of last year.”
 
Nico Hulkenberg: “I saw the new car in the wind tunnel a few times and followed its progress during the winter. It looks aggressive and fast, but we won’t know where we stand until we get out there and compete against the others. Preparations for the new season have been full-on with simulator sessions and lots of fitness training. I feel ready to get back to racing and I’m excited to find out what the new car feels like next week.”
 

Once again the Sahara Force India cars will be powered by the Mercedes engines with gearbox supplied by McLaren Applied Technologies. This will be the second season with the Mercedes KERS.

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Sutil: Hamilton is a coward, changed phone number

Adrian Sutil had some harsh words for his (former?) friend Lewis Hamilton after Sutil’s appearance in a Munich court.

The German lashed out in Germany’s Bild am Sonntag, calling the McLaren driver a coward and “not even a man.” The harsh words come after Sutil’s suspended 18-month sentence and EUR 200,000 fine. Sutil had called Hamilton to testify in the case, but because of Hamilton’s prior commitments to McLaren’s launch of the MP4-27, Hamilton was unable to attend.

With Hamilton’s absence, the German had no official witnesses in the trial against him. Sutil indicated he felt Hamilton’s testimony would have cleared himself of any wrongdoing in the nightclub fight that left Lotus co-owner Eric Lux badly cut.

Sutil took Hamilton’s absence personally. “Lewis is a coward, I do not want to be friends with someone like that,” Sutil said. “(Hamilton’s) father sent me a text message written and wished me luck for the process” but that was all the help that came from the Hamiltons, said the former Force India driver. Sutil alleges Hamilton took another step to ensure the German’s legal troubles could not bother the 2008 World Champion: he changed his phone number. “(Hamilton) has changed his phone number. I could not reach him anymore,” Sutil said.

The legal troubles have left Sutil’s career and reputation badly damaged. Sutil’s manager said a 2012 F1 seat is now “almost impossible.” But, his manager said, the FIA allowing Sutil to keep his super license has helped the German’s confidence.

Sutil Convicted, Fined

German Formula 1 driver, Adrian Sutil, was found guilty of “causing grievous bodily harm” to Eric Lux, Genii and Lotus F1 co-owner.

The hearing, in a Munich court, shed new light on the events surrounding the conclusion of the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai last April. Closed circuit television footage from inside the nightclub where Lewis Hamilton hosted his victory party shows the lead up to the altercation between then-Force India driver, Sutil, and Lotus Executive, Lux. The footage had no audio but showed Lux’s group vacating the VIP area when a group of friends including Hamilton and Sutil enter.

Lux returns later and grabs Sutil’s left arm and attempts to forcibly remove Sutil from his chair. Seemingly instinctively, Sutil reacts and pushes Lux away with his free arm. Unfortunately for Sutil, however, he was still holding the glass. The glass in Sutil’s hand resulted in the cut to Lux’s neck which ultimately needed 24 stitches.

Although the footage seemed to indicate Sutil acted in self-defense, the Munich court handed down a suspended sentence of 18 months. Sutil was also told to pay a EUR 200,000 fine. Coincidentally, Sutil and his management team met with Lotus officials late in 2011 to discuss a potential role with Lotus in 2012. Perhaps an out-of-court agreement would have been met had Sutil became a driver for Lotus.

Sutil’s management came out later Tuesday to reveal the German will not receive any reprimands from the FIA, Formula One’s governing body.

Weekend Round Up (Jan 20-22)

I apologize for a lack of content over the weekend. I was out of town and away from computer access for much of the weekend to attend a baptism for my niece. With that in mind, here’s a brief look at what’s happening in the racing world since Friday night.

Michael Shank Racing Wins Rolex 24: After years of trying, the Michael Schank Racing team won their first Rolex 24 at Daytona. The team, consisting of A.J. Allmendinger, Oz Negri, John Pew and Justin Wilson, fought off a hard-charging Ryan Dalziel in his Starworks Motorsports entry to win the famed event by a mere 5.2 seconds. The narrow margin of victory marked one of the closest finishes in endurance racing history. The win also gives strong momentum to the Michael Shank Racing squad as they begin the endeavor into a new field of racing: IndyCar. Full results from the Rolex 24 here.

Tracy to MSR in 2012?: Speaking of Rolex 24 winners, Michael Shank Racing, there have been strong indications that a deal to sign 22-year IndyCar veteran and 2003 CART Champion, Paul Tracy, to their IndyCar program. Tracy was in Daytona competing against MSR in Doran Racing’s DP. ““I’m trying to do a deal with Michael Shank to start an IndyCar team with himself and AJ Allmendinger,” Tracy told Speed.com’s Marshall Pruett. “We have a sponsor lined up. We need to put together an engine program this week and tie up a couple of other lose (sic) ends of some other contractual stuff, and if we can do that, then we’ll get the car put together and try to get to Sebring to test.” One obstacle facing Tracy and MSR are the sponsor connections Tracy has to Honda-Canada. MSR signed an engine contract with Lotus but, should Tracy bring Honda dollars and connections, the MSR team may be easily coaxed into signing on with Honda instead. Tracy has been on the hunt for a full time IndyCar ride since the last year of Champ Car in 2007 when he drove for Gerry Forsythe’s team.

Paul Tracy last drove full-time in 2007 for Forsythe Racing's Champ Car team. Could Tracy become MSR's driver in 2012 for his farewell tour from IndyCar racing? (Photo: Zach Wenzel)

IndyCar Teams Resume Testing, Barrichello Turns First Laps: A large group of IndyCar teams have returned to a testing regimen to prepare the new DW12s for competitive action. KV Racing, Andretti Autosport, Dreyer and Reinbold and Panther Racing have all turned laps at Sebring today with more expected to join the group this week. The test marks the first time new Andretti Autosport driver, James Hinchcliffe, dons his new GoDaddy.com colors. The one stealing the spotlight in Sebring, however, is an IndyCar rookie having only turned his first laps in an IndyCar but a few hours ago. The rookie comes highly recommended though by much of the paddock, especially Tony Kanaan. Of course, we’re talking about the most experience Formula One driver in history, Rubens Barrichello. The Brazilian is evaluating a potential run in the IndyCar series this year following his departure from WilliamsF1. Officially, the test is set only to allow Barrichello to provide his expertise feedback on the new car’s development. But many, including Barrichello, have left open the possibility to run in IndyCar.

Barrichello’s first departure from pit lane in an IndyCar was posted to KV Racing’s youtube channel and can be seen below.

Sutil Attempted Resolution with Lux: German F1 driver, Adrian Sutil, attempted to resolve the bar fight saga with Lotus Team Executive, Eric Lux, out of court it has emerged. Sutil realizes the outcome of the case largely determines what will become of his career. He acknowledged attempts to resolve the situation out of court with Lux, whom he cut with a broken glass in a Shanghai night club. The 28- year old talked to SID news agency about the severity of the situation. “I’m sorry, extremely sorry, I didn’t want it to happen,” Sutil said. The former Force India driver told SID despite appealing to Lux out of court, Lux had no interest and “wanted to destroy” Sutil. Lux received phone calls from Sutil in his efforts to apologize, but Lux never accepted the calls. “I expected him to come to Luxembourg and apologize to me. A call is not enough,” Lux testified. Sutil and Lux did discuss resolutions but none were agreed upon. Sutil claimed Lux’s demands were outlandish and involved a “very, very high amount” of money as well as Sutil’s sitting out of numerous Grands Prix.

Raikonnen Wraps Initial Lotus Test, Hamilton Declines Shanghai Court

Raikonnen Finishes First Test with Lotus: 2007 F-1 World Champion, Kimi Raikonnen, ended his two day test Valencia today following a two year hiatus. Raikkonen conducted the test in the 2010 Lotus-Renault fitted with Pirelli demonstration tires to conform to the current testing restrictions in Formula One. The test was merely focused on allowing to Raikonnen to get reacquainted with a F-1 car. The Finn acknowledged getting back up to full speed will take some time, “it takes a little bit of time to get used to it, but the main bits of driving – braking, turning, the normal things – it doesn’t take many laps,” he said to Sky Sports News. But, he added, “learning about the car, the team and the tires will take time.”

Hamilton Unable to Make Court Appearance: Speaking of Lotus, following the bar fight between team executive, Eric Lux, and Force India driver Adrian Sutil, a court date had been seen for Hamilton to give his eye witness testimony about the events of the evening. The date, however, immediately preempts the launch of McLaren’s 2012 car. Hamilton, as a result, is unable to make the January 30th court date. Court officials in Shanghai will allow Hamilton to excuse himself from providing testimony or may reschedule the hearing.