The team, revealed their new challenger with a web launch on Tuesday, finished seventh last year but team CEO, Otmar Szafnauer, has said that the team “always want to improve and our objectives this year are to finish higher than last year.
“So we are targeting fifth place in the championship – and in order to do that we have to score points from the beginning and then all the way through to the end. To do that, we need strong development during the year – and if all goes well, then perhaps even a podium finish or two is an aim.”
To achieve these goals the team has a promising driver line-up with long standing driver Adrian Sutil joined by Paul di Resta. Di Resta, the reigning DTM champion, comes to Formula 1 with a great reputation, and a lot of expectation. He has been supported by Mercedes throughout his career and his links to the German marque obviously proved beneficial for the Scot to make his way into a race seat having spent last year as Force India’s test and reserve driver.
The design team, led by technical director Andrew Green, has promised aggressive development throughout the season. Speaking at the launch Green said that constant development would be the key to having a strong season.
“Exhaust management will be a big area of development this year,” he explained. “There will be an upgrade for the first race, so there are some changes that will come into effect at the Bahrain test. Further down the line there are some big updates for the front of the car coming in for the first European race.
“Towards the end of last season there was a drop-off in our relative performance. In theory we were adding performance to the car, but it wasn’t getting translated to the track. We decided to have a very close look at what was happening on the car, and what could be causing this.
The new car appears to be a good baseline for Force India to develop on throughout the season. The team has set itself lofty ambitions and to achieve it they will need to be consistent points scorers in 2011.