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Posted By: James Allen  |  22 Jan 2014   |  11:52 am GMT  |  102 comments

The Sahara Force India team has surprised the F1 paddock by releasing the first image of a 2014 hybrid turbo F1 car, ahead of McLaren’s planned online launch on Friday.

The side shot of the VJM07 gives little away but reveals a striking new livery for the season, with new sponsorship from Sergio Perez’ backer Claro, owned by Mexican Carlos Slim. This is the third F1 team Slim has been involved with, after Sauber and McLaren.

The nose of the car is believed not to be the actual 2014 nose. Many teams are reporting that the nose section of these cars will be ugly, due to the new regulations.

Another note on the commercial side is the presence of Astana on the car, another backer to enter F1 from the world of pro-cycling. Lotus F1 team announced Saxo Bank last week, which supports a team on the pro-cycling tour.

The change of colours away from those of the Indian flag reflects a shift in emphasis for the team, from something which was about Indian pride in F1 to a more global view. With a Mexican and Kazakh sponsor roster that is hardly surprising. Caterham expressed something similar yesterday, highlighting the role nationality played in the choice of its drivers and there regional marketability.

“When I founded the team my first ambition was to launch the first Indian team on the grid, but the next stage in our evolution is to develop a global brand,” said SFI’s owner Vijay Mallya. “I think that ambition is reflected in the partners we are working with and our world class driver line-up. It certainly feels as though there is the potential for 2014 to be our strongest season yet.”

With a Mercedes power plant and back end on the car, as well as the return of Nico Hulkenberg and a highly motivated Sergio Perez, you can see why Mallya would be excited. Budgets continue to be tight, but the team has shown in the past it can punch above its weight and if the Mercedes turns out to be the power train to beat in 2014, then Force India could be challenging for that podium they have longed for since their 2nd place finest at Spa in 2009.

What do you thing of the Livery? Is it an improvement on the 2013 one (above)? And do you think Force India could spring a surprise in 2014?

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102 Comments
  1. S2K says:

    I like the livery. It is very distinctive.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Agreed. It might not be a classic, but it will hard to ignore on the track.

      1. pepe-le-pew says:

        watch it become a classic when FORCE INDIA win the 2014 & 2015 championships.

      2. Random 79 says:

        AND 2015 no less.

        You are an optimist :)

      3. Sid says:

        Despite being an Indian, I will not support FIF1 unless they change their name. This is F1 and not A1, we’re not here supporting our nations, rather we’re here supporting best teams. Yes if I support my favourite team Ferrari and it happens to be Italian and so would I, I’m fine but marketing your team primarily as a national team year after year dun make any sense, well at least to me. I can’t understand how all other F1 teams allowed this name to be instated when FIF1 was formed.

    2. Jim says:

      +1, great looking car. Looking forward to see what the new McLaren looks like too, now they’ve said they’re going to start distancing themselves from Mercedes…

    3. Moog says:

      Likewise, I really like it. Especially with the black wheels.

    4. Quade says:

      Its really beautiful.
      A blend of menacing black and lush tropical colours.

      1. J.Danek says:

        ha! great description, especially the tropical part!

        James: spelling error?

        “…a highly motivated Sergop Perez…”

      2. Random 79 says:

        Not at all – Sergop is Sergio’s evil twin, the one that took over for him in 2012 once he signed with McLaren :)

    5. Trent says:

      Looks great,but…..
      there are so many cars now with liveries based around black, grey/silver or dark blue.

      I don’t think there’s the bright colour palette across the grid like in the 1990′s, and I always find it strange because surely standing out from the crowd would have marketing value?

  2. forzaminardi says:

    Great livery! You can’t go wrong with a black racing car with bright flashes of colour.

  3. Aussie Rod says:

    Great livery. Great (and surprisingly unwanted) drivers. Potentially great power train.

    FI are going to be a real fan favourite as an underdog and if I was a betting man I would have money on them for multiple podiums and some big surprises!

  4. Dingle Dell says:

    Very nice livery. I hope they can spring a few surprises early next season after the reset

  5. “The change of colours away from those of the Indian flag reflects a shift in emphasis for the team”

    I think it should be mentioned that Orange and Green are still on the car and I think that’s pretty indicative that Vijay Mallya will continue to display the team with Indian Heritage in the future, even if the base colour does change due to sponsors.

  6. Simmo says:

    It looks to me like a Sauber and Force India cross-over gone wrong!

    Still, it isn’t too bad, and should grow on me a little bit in the coming weeks!! I really wasn’t expecting this when I opened up the website!

  7. aveli says:

    the new car is a huge improvement on the old! much more striking than all the 2013 cars.

    1. Quade says:

      Lets hope the front view doesn’t reveal a horrid forked nose or something equally hideous.

      1. aveli says:

        fingers crossed.

  8. Multi 21 says:

    Am I going to have to be the first one to make a “dark side of the Force” joke here?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Apparently so and kudos for it :)

    2. Roddie says:

      +1 Lol!

    3. Steve Boden says:

      LMAO!

      Sergio Skywalker Vs. Darth Hulkenberg!

    4. Aneesh says:

      Awesome! Anakin just became Vader!

    5. Just a bloke says:

      Excellent

  9. PaulL says:

    Honestly, I can’t imagine how the new noses are uglier than their harvester predecessors.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Wait and see…all will be revealed ;)

    2. Scott D says:

      I have a horrible feeling that they will be with their rumoured “appendages”…

    3. ManOnWheels says:

      They can, trust me. One of the problems with designing good looking noses is that the front wing has to be attached with two pylons. That renders a good looking solution like we had on the Tyrrell 025 illegal.

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        I reckon the nose/wing on the Tyrrell 023 (1995) looks nicer. But you’re right, the 025 is better looking than most.

        I wonder if the 2014 cars will be more prone to high speed understeer due to the narrower front wings.

      2. Mulle says:

        Dont the also have reduced rear aero to compensate. No monkey seat, blown diffusers and so on?

    4. Mark says:

      They look like anteater noses apparently, long and thin

    5. aezy_doc says:

      Attempts at predicting the new nose shape have focussed on a kind of ‘proboscis’ nose. From platypus to insect. I hope for a more aesthetic solution.

    6. Aneesh says:

      I saw a tweet from Craig Scarborough where he gives an approximate drawing of the nose.

      Cyril Abiteboul from Caterham calls ‘em “Alien” while I saw another interesting tweet comparing them to male genitalia :)

  10. Joost says:

    This livery is badass

  11. Ashboy says:

    Just wets the appetite, I want to see them all now and lots of shots of the details. Also who has what in terms of clever thinking.

  12. BrwanGP says:

    FI have felt a bit stale in the livery department, this introduction of black adds a dark side, an aggressive side. I love it plus its the first car unveiled and I couldn’t be happier, this means we are getting closer to the start of a ripper season.

  13. Pablo says:

    Nice livery, though I would expect the driver’s number to have a more prominent presence in the car, like during the old days, rather than a small figure in the nose.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Apparently the drivers numbers are gonna be on their bash hats.

  14. Joe B says:

    Conclusive thumbs up for the livery. Also, a welcome return of the voting buttons!

  15. Supersi says:

    I like it.
    I think it has a sexy temptress look to it. lol.

  16. TJ says:

    Changing from majority white to majority black was a very good choice. Looks like a beast!

  17. Arnie S says:

    Like it!

  18. TrueFan says:

    “With a Mercedes power plant and McLaren back end on the car”
    Mclaren Back End???…..I think they are going with Mercedes Gear, Transmission etc, and scrapped the mclaren deal after 2013.
    Am I wrong?

    1. james27 says:

      Yes, Gearbox, ERS and hydraulics now all Mercedes.

  19. Doohan says:

    Was hoping for a light blue like the Indian cricket team.
    Still pretty decent, can’t wait for the actual bodywork

    1. P says:

      The Indian cricket team use darker blue…not light blue

      1. Bring back V12's !!! says:

        No India use light blue like Doohan said. Sri Lanka use dark blue, you may be thinking of them?

      2. P says:

        India used to use light blue till a few years back.
        now it is a darker shade.

        dammit! let’s talk f1
        the car looks stunning…i wonder what the driver’s racesuits will look like(and the pit crew)

  20. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    Those tyres look like they are about to delaminate ;)

    So, in another example of a poor show by F1, here’s the new car, only one pic from the side and far away, plus the nose is not the real nose… may as well have put up a pic of a Flymo lawnmower.

    1. Quade says:

      I found the “delaminate” bit quite funny!

    2. Dylan says:

      Lighten up! it’a just a teaser before the official launch/testing on the 28th. Like a trailer for a movie.

      There really is no pleasing some people…

  21. Spoo says:

    WOW

    Simply WOW

    “The change of colours away from those of the Indian flag reflects a shift in emphasis for the team” ?
    Orange, white & green still exist on the car but just changed a little with Black now acting as the base.

    Simply WOW

  22. Anne says:

    Back in Black! I like it. It´s only one picture and one car so far. I don´t see anything wrong or ugly about it. I´m holding futher judgment until I see what others come up with.

    1. Ed says:

      Wait til you see it from the front. “dildo nose” seems to be the description of choice on a few forums

  23. AlexTrickle says:

    Always thought black is a sexy colour for cars and F1 cars are no exception. Car looks gorgeous!

  24. Roddie says:

    I hope the noses aren’t as ugly as they say. Not another year with hideous looking cars. The FIA doesn’t understand beauty, they just care about restrictions and regulations.

    Love the livery!

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Can’t see it when you’re in it.

      1. Roddie says:

        Unless you’re Maldonado and you’re the driving the other way around.

    2. David in Sydney says:

      The noses based on the few pics I’ve seen aren’t half as bad as the wide front wings of years past… and we did get used to the stepped noses, didn’t we? I’ll take 3 months of racing and then… it’ll be about the racing.

      1. Roddie says:

        Quite indeed. We survived the platypus beak. We can handle the anteater nose.

  25. alexyoong says:

    It’s good, but they have darkened the image so that the floor of the car and the tyres merge in with the black paint. So it wont be as striking in real life. But, I do really like the Goodyear tyre branding with the scheme, a flash of yellow with black looks good.

    It feels a bit like last year’s Sauber, as someone else has said.

    1. Timmay says:

      If only it was “Goodyear”…. alas Pirelli.

  26. goferet says:

    The nose of the car is believed not to be the actual 2014 nose
    ————————————————-

    Uh-Oh!!!

    From a distance the nose looked alright and I was beginning to think the cars wouldn’t look bad after all >>> Oh well…

    Yes, this was a surprise move by Force India by making this unofficial launch but what better way to give your sponsors maximum coverage before the big fish hijack the media when their covers start rolling off.

    I think the livery suits the car well mainly because it’s a change from what was before and in some cases, change is good.

    Now with Hulkenburg and Perez on board, I agree with Vijay that 2014 will be their strongest year yet however, am not too sure a podium is on the cards because there are so many top teams and top drivers on the grid at the moment.

    Having said that, in a year were reliability will show it’s head, I think even the backmarkers must be optimist.

    1. Mmm says:

      In close up the nose looked very good as well :).

      F1 cars looks so much better with a low nose, like the cars from the 80s or early 90s. However I was disappointed when I read that it wasn’t the actual 2014 nose…

      1. goferet says:

        @ Mmm

        Totally agree

    2. pepe-le-pew says:

      I’m curious as to why the online launches weren’t done earlier by teams like Sauber, Caterham, Force India, McLaren etc. Surely the online stuff must have been ready weeks ago, more exposure for Sponsors, get as much fanfare as u can before the big guns roll out…

      That FI livery is good looking…

  27. Mark says:

    May the force be with you for this season

  28. Paul H says:

    Livery is alright, never thought much of the old one so hard to do worse. Just always seemed like a GCSE graphic design project. But whilst it looks better than the old one, I can’t help feeling F1 teams as a whole need to up their game in the livery stakes. Cars used to be much more distinct whereas now they are increasingly dull. Too many teams use dark colourschemes with little design flourish. Caterham have been a breath of fresh air with a green and yellow car, possibly all green this year likely.

    (Disclaimer: I have been looking at the Autosport forum thread where one of the posters has put up some amazing pictures of old F1 liveries on a modern car design. It is hard to see how great they look and not feel today’s cars are downright boring. Sauber being the worst).

    1. Timmay says:

      Agreed. And in recent years too many shades of red (and grey lol, as you said). Apart from Lotus there hasn’t been an interesting livery since McLaren first went chrome in 2006.

      1. Matt says:

        Toro Rosso in 2006 wasn’t interesting enough for you?

        Honda Earth car wasn’t umm… “interesting” enough either? Having virtually ‘zero’ sponsor logos on the car was a first at that point.

        Red Bull ‘Wings for Life’ wasn’t fun?

        But I see your point :D – 2013 was dreadful, though I did like Red Bull’s change toward purple!

  29. Bluefear says:

    Looks stunning!

    I hope its as fast as it looks and can do justice to the Hulk! :)

  30. Tom Haythornthwaite says:

    The new livery is quite nice – nicer than many we saw last year – but the previous Force India livery was the best of all.

  31. rvsp says:

    no news about crash test, launch date, jerez presence nothing at all… all other teams posted everything write from unpacking their engine cover to firing it up… SFI u r awesome.. u released this picture when everyone is fearing what lotus said(many teams will miss jerez test) earlier is right… nice and really surprising…

  32. Rich B says:

    bravo FIndy, you’ve gone from the worst livery to a very attractive one.
    can’t believe the incredibly smart people in F1 fail to think of a rule to prevent ugly noses again.

  33. bearforce1 says:

    Super cool. I love it. Something different and it looks good.

    Well we are off to a good start chaps.

  34. Jeff says:

    Love it. And nice to be out of the off-season drought. Very excited for the next season. Should be very interesting.

  35. jay dee says:

    Looks nice side on. Exiting times when new cars revealed. Hope it looks as good from other angles.

  36. shri says:

    not worried about livery. let us see how it performs compared to other teams.

  37. Agent Orange says:

    I like that a lot. Reminds me a bit of the Shadow DN5.

  38. JohnBt says:

    Livery looks more aggressive than previous. Nose don’t seem so bad if it is as the picture.

  39. Marc Saunders says:

    Well, well, well. So much worry about the noses, and it turns out that the painting is much more important to the look of the car. Of course, aesthetics have been solved by make-up for centuries. Ugly noses are dissimulated by colored lips, cheeks and eyes, that is known by every fashion expert. Point for the look designers.

  40. Kev says:

    Too much of black. The white seems to have been included as an afterthought. They could have added black instead of using it as a base.

    Liked the old one better.

  41. James Clayton says:

    Reminds me a bit of one of the old Minardis.

  42. Edmundo says:

    Roshfrans is also a mexican sponsor.

  43. Sarvar says:

    Juicy in comparison to previous one.

    Caterham’s boss says the 2014 cars’ noses will look like “Aliens” – pretty much intriguing though)))

  44. AuraF1 says:

    Sounds like SFI are suggesting the entire front end is a ‘banker’ for testing and the first few races and this will be entirely changed once the more crazy designs come through.

  45. Truth or Lies says:

    Very smart, great to see we’re getting close to the first test.

    Hope it goes as good as it looks !!

  46. Timmay says:

    Hard not to improve on the worst livery ever… patriotic colour schemes are so – what was it called? – A1 GP.

  47. JB says:

    This livery is very beautiful.
    I also like the way they make use of black colour in the aero sensitive regions.
    Teams like Red Bull and Lotus has done these making them difficult to spot aero updates.

  48. Turdoc says:

    Good livery but the photo is not real – is just computer generated. Plus, the exhaust is Coanda style, which is not going to be allowed this year. So, is just marketing …

  49. Bo Amato says:

    James,

    Why all the complaints from F1 bosses and some media that the new nose on the 2014 F1 car is ugly. Looks great to me, like the 70s and 80s. They look like F1 cars, fantastic. Much prefer the dropped nose versus the aerodynamic upside down raised win that was introduced by Benneton years ago (I believe)

    Can’t wait for 2014, DNF’s, hopefully some interesting and surprising results. Red Bulls dominance, like McArens and Ferrari’s got a little boring, but I still kept watching.

    The New Force India looks sharp, however looks don’t mean speed regretfully.

    Cheers,
    Bring on 2014
    Bo

    1. Random 79 says:

      The one in the photo is just for show – the real one they go racing with will likely be much more distinctive…and by distinctive I mean ugly :)

  50. fausta says:

    Nice looking car! Hopefully the nose and front wing aren’t too ugly!

  51. greg says:

    I have liked the livery the last few years on the FI cars, always seemed bright and fresh. The new one is ok, but nothing special.

  52. Jose Arellano says:

    Don’t forget Roshfrans sponsorship its a mexican company not owned by slim (that i know of)

  53. Sujith says:

    Why is this week slower than ever? :( I just can’t wait to see the New McLaren and Ferrari!! :)

    1. Sri says:

      Same here. Very keen on Ferrari launch, mainly to see how Raikkonen and Alonso present themselves.

  54. Sujith says:

    I hope we have car noses that look like the beautiful one’s we saw in 2004-2008

  55. Bob says:

    I like it.
    Just hoping Some rumors I heard about the FI’s chassis being significantly overweight aren’t true as they are one of my favourite teams. Are you able to shed any light on this James?

  56. Tyler says:

    Awesome

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