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First image of Force India VJM07 revealed

The Sahara Force India VJM07 (Image: Force India F1 Team)

The Sahara Force India VJM07 (Image: Force India F1 Team)

Force India became the first F1 team to release a 2014 car image when they tweeted an image of their new car, the VJM07, yesterday.

The car features a striking new livery that combines the colours of the Indian flag, used for almost all of their previous seasons, with a generous amount of black, particularly on the engine cover and around the front of the cockpit.

Although it’s clear that the new car has a low nose, as  required by the 2014 regulations, the side image does not show the front of the car in any particular detail. We will have to wait for a front image to see the details of their narrow nose solution. If it’s anything like that of the Williams FW36, revealed today, it will dominate the car’s profile in an unfortunate manner.

The car clearly features the longer sidepods required this season for safety reasons and a noticeable difference from last season’s car is the lack of side-exiting exhausts. The exhaust is not visible in this photo as it exits at the rear of the car and is hidden in this view by the rear wing end-plates.

More images will be available when the car takes to the track in Jerez, Spain next week.

Last Mercedes F1 V8 engine rolls out of the factory

There will no longer by a V8 engine beneath the Mercedes F1 engine cover next year (Image: Mercedes)

There will no longer by a V8 engine beneath the Mercedes F1 engine cover in 2014 (Image: Mercedes)

It’s the end of an era for Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. Based in Brixworth, UK, the manufacturer of Mercedes Formula One engines has produced the last of the company’s V8 engines that will be used in F1, at least in this era of regulations.

From 2014, the engine arm of Mercedes will be producing turbocharged hybrid V6 engines for Formula One, as per the new regulations. That means the end of the line for the current V8 engines that have been used in more or less their current form since 2006.

The Mercedes V8 has, since its introduction to F1, powered Lewis Hamilton to the 2008 World Championship in a McLaren and Jenson Button to the 2009 World Championship in a Brawn. Mercedes V8 engines have won 46 races and secured 48 pole positions. Four teams – Mercedes, McLaren, Force India and Brawn – have used Mercedes power in the V8 era, and all four of those teams have scored at least a pole position. Force India is the only Mercedes powered team to have not won a race in the V8 era.

There are still two races left in which Mercedes, McLaren and Force India will be looking to improve on the results achieved by V8 Mercedes power in Formula One. Of those three teams, the most likely to achieve a win or a pole position again in 2013 is the works Mercedes AMG Petronas team, which has already won three times this season. But to do that, they will have to beat the all-conquering combination of Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull and Renault, which has been so dominant for the past four seasons.

To mark the occasion of the signing off of their last V8 Formula One engine, Mercedes released the following video of the BIPO (Break In, Pass Off) procedure for the engine:

German Grand Prix – FP1 results

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.754 25
2 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:31.973 0.219 25
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:32.789 1.035 22
4 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:32.822 1.068 16
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:32.956 1.202 22
6 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:33.065 1.311 18
7 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.139 1.385 24
8 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:33.213 1.459 20
9 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:33.260 1.506 27
10 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.456 1.702 18
11 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:33.493 1.739 18
12 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.810 2.056 20
13 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:33.901 2.147 23
14 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:33.976 2.222 26
15 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:34.025 2.271 20
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:34.200 2.446 22
17 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.437 2.683 24
18 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:35.674 3.920 23
19 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:35.987 4.233 19
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:36.078 4.324 23
21 22 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1:37.459 5.705 21
22 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari No time 2

Sutil returns to F1 with Force India

Force India driver Adrian Sutil signs autograp...

Adrian Sutil returns to Force India for 2013 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Force India have finally completed their driver line-up for 2013, confirming that Adrian Sutil will race alongside Paul di Resta. Sutil returns to Formula One after a year on the sidelines.

Most of the teams confirmed their driver line-ups well before the start of pre-season testing in February, but Force India chose instead to wait until after they had run both of their candidates for the second race seat – Adrian Sutil and Jules Bianchi – at last week’s second test in Barcelona. Both drivers impressed the team, but in the end Force India went with the experience of Sutil rather than put a new driver in their car.

Sutil has already driven for Force India for four seasons, and for the team’s previous incarnation, Spyker, for a year. He is highly rated in the paddock and is expected to deliver results in his second stint at Force India. He was paired with Paul di Resta in 2011 before his brief absence from the sport, which adds some continuity to his career and the workings of the team.

Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “The decision over our driver line-up has not been an easy one and we have given it great consideration over the last few months. It was a close call, but ultimately we felt that Adrian’s experience and historic links to the team gave him the edge, and will provide us with the best possible chance of realising our ambitions for the coming season. If he can rediscover the exceptional form he showed in the second half of 2011, I’m confident that we can pick up where we left off at the end of 2012. As for Jules Bianchi, he has impressed us enormously with his speed and work ethic, and I’m hopeful we can continue working with him this year to help him develop into a future Grand Prix driver.”

Adrian Sutil: “I’m delighted to be back in Formula One, especially with a team I know so well. I’m very happy and I want to thank Sahara Force India for giving me a second chance. Having been away from the sport, I’m even more determined to achieve my goals in Formula One. Things went really well at the Barcelona test last week and it almost feels as though I’ve never been away. Driving the car felt so natural and I was able to get back in the groove quickly and find the limit. Now my focus is on making the most of the final test session this week, working with the team in the simulator and getting myself in the best possible shape for Melbourne.”

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