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Force India launches VJM06, but still no second driver

ESPN Staff
February 1, 2013 « Ferrari launches new F138 | Strong start is 'key' for Ferrari in 2013 - Domenicali »
The new Force India VJM06 © Sutton Images

Force India has launched its new car, the VJM06, but has still not named its second driver.

Paul di Resta and deputy team principal Robert Fernley took the wraps off the VJM06 in a pit garage at Silverstone ahead of its first run on the British track later in the day. The car features a vanity panel to conceal its stepped nose, but from the outside it appears to be an evolution of last year's VJM05.

Nevertheless, technical director Andrew Green is confident of a good step forwards with the new car: "We've pushed the guys quite hard in areas outside their comfort zone. Most of It is under the skin and you can't see it from here [the outside], but rear suspension, front suspension and aerodynamics have all been pushed hard and they've done a really good job in the wind tunnel. The car is a step up and improvement from last year and we've worked on consistency to make the car a lot easier to drive."

Test driver Jules Bianchi and ex-Force India driver Adrian Sutil are believed to be two of the drivers in the running for the vacant race seat, but Fernley would not be pushed on when a decision would be made.

"The shareholders are thinking about where the drivers are going to be, but our main objective today is obviously to launch the car and make one or two important announcements. We don't want to confuse the two stories."

The new car is the fourth to launch ahead of the first official test on Tuesday at Jerez, with Sauber, Red Bull, Mercedes, Toro Rosso, Marussia and Caterham all planning to take the wraps off their cars in the meantime.