Force India: Wind tunnel move behind car delay
22 January 2015 – Force India Technical Director Andrew Green says the team's decision to delay the track debut of its new Formula 1 challenger was brought on by its wind tunnel relocation.
Force India is switching to Toyota's Cologne-based tunnel for the 2015 season, which is capable of running 60 per cent models – a 10 per cent increase over its former Brackley facility.
With work not starting until this month, Force India has opted to run its 2014 car at the opening Jerez test, before introducing the VJM08 at the subsequent Barcelona gathering.
Once operating at its full potential, Green is confident that the new site will allow development work to be carried out at a much faster rate than in previous seasons.
"Working solely in the [Toyota Motorsport GmbH] TMG wind tunnel will help our development significantly," explained Green.
"Having the ability to run 60 per cent models will represent a significant step forward in fidelity of the data we receive and improve our correlation between the wind tunnel results and the on-track car data.
"The model itself has a significant increase in aerodynamic loading and it's a challenge designing and building a new model in a very short time frame.
"We are very much looking forward to starting to use the new facilities in January; for this reason we have delayed the track testing of the VJM08 until the Barcelona test."
Green says the first major upgrade package from Toyota's wind tunnel is scheduled for introduction at the Spanish Grand Prix in early May.
"Throughout 2015, we will be looking forward to bringing updates to the car from start to finish," he said.
"The first significant package should be at the beginning of the European season and it will be the first batch of upgrades based solely on the work done at the new wind tunnel."
Force India has also been boosted by a ramping up of its CFD facility, with the team now running to the maximum capacity permitted by the regulations.
"We are now operating with 30 teraflops of computing power – a massive change compared to the 0.3 teraflops we had five years ago," added Green.
"We expect the fruits of this investment to start feeding into the development of the car throughout the 2015 season and beyond."