Force India VJM05 a 'big departure'
Force India technical director Andy Green says the team's 2012 car is a "big departure" from its previous challengers.
Force India is aiming for fifth in the constructors' championship in 2012 and at the launch of the new VJM05 Green revealed that his team has adopted a completely new approach to try to achieve its aim.
"The biggest change for us was the aerodynamic philosophy of the car," he said. "Starting at the front, there's a new front wing which sets up all the basic structures down the car - that's a big step for us.
"It took us quite a long time to wean ourselves off the old philosophy. We did some testing during the season last year, trying to move away from it, and then we used that knowledge over the winter to come up with the new concept at the front.
"It's a big departure from where the car was before and the tunnel numbers are really encouraging so we're quite looking forward to coming to the track and seeing what it can do."
The VJM05 features a stepped nose in order to meet new regulations regarding the height of the front of the car. But Green said the cumbersome design, which has also been adopted by Ferrari and Caterham, is not a big deal.
"The nose height regulation has a very small effect," he added. "It's a much bigger visual effect than it is an aerodynamic effect. Everyone's commenting on it, saying it looks like an ironing board at the front of the car, but I think everyone's going to get used to it. The majority of teams I believe are going to use a similar concept to what we're using."
The new McLaren, launched on Wednesday, does not feature the stepped nose, but Force India could not get that approach to work.
"McLaren stood out last year as using a completely different front-end concept to everyone else," Green said. "Their system allows them to run the nose lower and the chassis lower, and it's one of the things we tried out last year. We couldn't get it to work and we tried various different systems and this is the one we felt worked the best."
Green added the VJM05 will benefit from some significant upgrades ahead of the first race of the season and that the team intends to maintain an aggressive update programme over the course of the season.
"Some of it will come at the final test, some of it you won't see until the first race," he said. "We're reasonably confident now with the way we can transfer components from tunnel to track, we've got a high degree of confidence in our ability to deliver. So we're not particularly frightened about updates to races anymore, you can't wait and bring all your updates to the last test and not expect to do any updates for the whole season. We bring updates to every race and we're confident they are going to work, some of them will be quite noticeable, but the majority of which will be in the details."