Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
New Delhi: Sahara Force India, on 22nd January, became the first team to reveal their challenger for the 2014 Formula One season. With the first pre-season test scheduled for 28-31 of this month at Jerez, Spain, the Indian team will surely look to take the initiative from the mid-table rivals in McLaren, Lotus and Sauber.
With a pre-dominantly black background, the livery of VJM07 reflects a mean and hungry look. However, like in its previous avatars, the chassis also carries the recurrent theme of India`s national flag, the Tricolour in its true hues – white, saffron and green.
The Mercedes-powered `train` also carries the names of the sponsors and commercial partners prominently in its board. Infused by the signing of Mexican talent, Sergio Perez, the Indian team have already roped in sponsorships from Claro and Roshfrans, two of the biggest brands in South America, besides the in-house brands in Kingfisher. There will also be a prominent display of Astana, representing the sporting side of the Kazakhstan capital of the same name. Already an established name in the sporting world, especially in cycling, Astana joins hands with the Indian team after their partnership with Williams F1 in 2013.
The launch of VJM07 in the earnest shows Sahara Force India`s intent. Having failed to reach that magical 100 points in 2013, the Silverstone-based team will surely look to reach new heights. In fact, the 2014 season will be an unpredictable one with the introduction new rules and modifications galore. The last years` seventh best team, with their new driver pair in Perez and German Nico Hulkenberg, is being touted as one of the serious outfits to fight for points in every round of the championship, starting Australian Grand Prix on March 16.
Following Force India`s unveiling, Williams have also released the images of their challenger, FW36. Other teams have also announced their dates. British team McLaren will have their new car, MP4 launched online on January 24. The following day, Ferrari will show their prancing horse live from Maranello. Interestingly, the Italian stable has already decided to give their fans the honour to name the new car. On January 26, Toro Rosso`s STR9 will hit headlines at Jerez.
The Spanish circuit will also play host to the unveiling of current champions, RB10 of Red Bull Racing, German outfit Mercedes` W05 and Caterham`s yet to name car. However, Monisha Kaltenborn led Lotus will wait until February 19, the start of second pre-season test in Bahrain International Circuit.