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VJM08 Puzzle in Three Days: The Force India Miracle

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VJM08 puzzle in three days
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E s was a last minute company. On February 11th, the first chassis of the new Force India VJM08 arrived at the factory in Enstone. It was actually due on January 6th. But the original chassis supplier broke a production machine when moving to a new factory. And then again after the repair. The first two weeks were already wasted.

Force India had to look for a replacement manufacturer. He had full order books and wanted prepayment. But the team was clammy. Another two weeks delay. In the end, the carbon tubes were delivered 36 days late.

This meant that the first two test dates in Jerez and Barcelona had to be canceled. And in the factory there were quite a few who doubted even making a test kilometer with the new car. Because the schedule was extremely tight.

FIA crash tests passed straight away

On February 13th the FIA crash test appointment. It was passed straight away. Just like the nine static load tests for the chassis. Then came the new engine and transmission. 'We are lucky that we get the transmission from Mercedes. We don't have to worry about it. And we know that it works,' said Andy Green, head of technology.

The VJM08 was on February 22nd ready for assembly in the factory as a complete puzzle. Three days later he was on his bikes. The first test was already running in Barcelona when the truck with its expensive freight set off in Silverstone. He arrived in Barcelona at seven in the morning on the second day of testing. Five hours and 13 minutes later, Nico H├╝lkenberg did the first lap with it.

1,699 kilometers in two and a half days

After two and a half days it was 365 laps. Or 1,699 kilometers. Almost as much as McLaren-Honda in 12 days. The compressed test program consisted of three points. First: reliability. Second: understand tires. Third: setup work for the race.

'We are practicing the qualification in Melbourne. As long as our car is not complete, we have to concentrate on the races,' emphasizes Green. 'It will be tough for us to get into Q2. But points are possible for us on Sunday. Because we understand the tires well and because we benefit from the engine in the race.'

In the two weeks until Melbourne becomes the simulatorfed with the findings of Barcelona. 'We are now doing the fine-tuning of the setup that was actually planned for the time between Jerez and the first Barcelona test. The other teams are already one step further than we are. That is not ideal, but we have to go through it.' /p>

Force India plans B version for Silverstone

The Force India VJM08 presented in Barcelona is actually only a half-new car. It is upgraded step by step. By the time of the Chinese GP, the aerodynamics for the front part of the car will be complete. That means front wing, baffles, brake ventilation, the skid of the underbody.

The GP Spain debut of the new hydromechanical suspension on the rear axle. Until then, they also want to upgrade the cooling. 'We were very conservative there and still have a lot of leeway.'

The changes up to the Spanish GP should bring Force India to the same level as Lotus, Toro Rosso and Sauber on one lap. The team's great hope lies in the B version, which will appear at the latest at the GP England. The date depends on when you pass the crash test with a completely different nose. It will be shorter.

The Aero package has already had a wind tunnel session. 'A completely different world,' marveled Nico H├╝lkenberg. And Andy Green confirmed: 'It opened our eyes and showed how far we are from the optimum.'

The Force India VJM08 will then appear in a completely new design. A new aerodynamicist who was previously number two at Red Bull is responsible. A new rear section is created around the shorter nose. Sports director Otmar Szafnauer sums up: 'We used to be strong at the beginning of the season and we slacked off a bit towards the back. This time we do it the other way round.'

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