Force India: Diffuser work key in VJM03

Force India's new VJM03 may be mostly an evolution on last year's design, but the team has made big strides with its double diffuser concept

Force India: Diffuser work key in VJM03

Mark Smith, its design director, said fully optimising the double diffuser was one of the key areas for improvement that the team focused on over the winter.

"[The car is] a natural progression in areas which seemed to have strong trends at the end of 2009, and in other areas it's quite different," he said.

"The back of the car is the area that has evolved most as everyone has had a year of experience with the double diffusers so we've all gone into 2010 much wiser to what we can do. There have been some refinements in that area and it's formed part of the make-up of the car this time around, rather than being added very quickly, as happened at the beginning of last year.

"It's natural now to design the car to take these devices. The gearbox is now a little bit easier to work around, and there are tweaks to make the diffuser potential bigger. So there are some notable differences."

Force India has also vowed to reconsider its use of the adjustable front wing flap, which is abandoned in the middle of last year.

"I think it's potentially more important [this year]," explained Smith. "No one really spoke about it much in the paddock last year, we didn't get the impression it was a big boost for the drivers, so we were happy to do without it.

"But given that you've got the scenario where you've got to manage the car in a race now, it's a good thing to have if you can. So we're making efforts to 'future proof' it this year."

Despite his optimism about the car, Smith is refusing to predict exactly how much the team's efforts will pay off in terms of results this year.

"We will only be in a position to answer that question once we have the first race under our belts," he said. "The development rates in Formula 1 were very high last year and this has largely been maintained over the winter design period.

"How this will manifest itself in relative terms between the teams remains to be seen."

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