Force India: Paul Di Resta launches 2013 F1 car

By Lawrence BarrettoBBC Sport at Silverstone
The new Force India VJM06 car
The new Force India VJM06 car

Paul di Resta has launched the Force India car which carries his hopes for the 2013 Formula 1 season.

The VJM06 bears a strong resemblance to the 2012 model, but technical director Andrew Green stressed "from the ground up, everything is new".

Di Resta, who will start his third season with the team, said: "It looks very impressive - aggressive and fast."

The Scot became the first driver to take a 2013 F1 car onto the track, when he completed a lap of Silverstone.

The team ended last season with one of its most competitive performances when Nico Hulkenberg led the Brazilian Grand Prix for 30 laps before a collision with Lewis Hamilton left him fifth.

They scored more points overall than the previous season, despite a slow start, but ended up losing a place in the constructors' championship, finishing seventh.

At the presentation of the VJM06 - the team's sixth car named after their team principal Vijay Mallya - the squad were united in their determination to build on their form in Brazil.

"The VJM06 doesn't look massively different to its predecessor, but beneath the skin we've looked at every detail to try and find more performance," said team principal, Dr Vijay Mallya.

"The objective now is to make sure we build on the promise of last year and have a strong start to the season."

Di Resta added: "I think it's difficult to set yourself targets, especially at this point. It's consistency and working the momentum to carry over from last year.

"That's the focus, to have a car that gets into Q3 and put ourselves into strong positions."

While Di Resta stays on for a third season, the team declined to announce who will replace Nico Hulkenberg, who moved to Sauber, or their reserve driver for the coming season.

However, deputy team principal Bob Fearnley said the team were not overly concerned about heading to the first pre-season test with just one driver.

"What matters is getting the car right and then bringing the driver in when we're ready," he said.

Adrian Sutil, who drove for the team until 2011, is understood to be in contention for the seat along with Jules Bianchi who was the team's reserve driver last year.

An announcement is expected before the second pre-season test, which begins in Barcelona on 19 February.

BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson said the team have been successful in producing a "neat and tidy" car which looks to be a step forward from the final race of the season.

Like Ferrari and McLaren, the team have used a vanity panel to hide the stepped nose which dominated so many of the 2012 machines.

Technical director Andrew Green added: "It's a brand new car from the ground-up. We discussed carrying over big chunks of last year's car, including the chassis, but decided not to.

"The biggest change that everybody is going to notice this year is the fairing on top of the nose to hide the 'step'.

"It's neutral as far as the car's performance is concerned but tidies up the flow over the top of the chassis."