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Green explains lack of stepped nose

ESPN Staff
February 1, 2013 « Di Resta still eyes big move | Van der Garde secures Caterham race seat »
The new VJM06 doesn't feature a stepped nose, unlike its predecessor © Sutton Images

Force India technical director Andrew Green says there is a performance benefit to not having a stepped nose on the VJM06.

While Lotus unveiled its E21 on Monday which retained the stepped nose, Force India's new car makes use of the vanity panel that the teams are allowed to use to cover the step. Green said that the team opted to make the change from a stepped nose because it showed a small performance gain.

"For us, net - and when I say net that is aerodynamic gain versus weight/centre of gravity height - it was net up. It may only be very small, but for us it was a net advantage, so we take it. To be honest, if the step nose regulation wasn't there why would you ever design a car with a stepped nose? I don't think you would. I don't think anyone would have come up with that idea of 'let's go and put a great slab of chassis in front of it'.

"So it never inspired us as a concept to have, and by putting the panel over the top of it it tidied up some nasty features on top of the chassis that we just weren't happy with. You could see them in the CFD blocks, you could see what was happening in that area and were thinking 'that can't be good'. You put it in the tunnel and you can see it; it's small but it's a 100g or 200g panel and the net result was a marginal improvement."

Green also revealed that Force India was then able to be more extreme in its chassis design as a result.

"Because of that, we pushed the chassis regulation to its absolute limit which is something we didn't do last year because it would have looked so awful and would have quite a nasty effect on the top of the chassis. So this year it was 'OK, no holds barred, what can we do to the chassis to absolutely nail the height of the chassis regardless of what it looks like?' We took all that and covered it all up and made it look half reasonable, so the gain is all underneath; that's the difference with this car to last year's. We didn't extract the whole chassis regulation rule last year and we did this year."