The 2018 Force India VJM11 F1 car continues to use the bold paint scheme that debuted on the 2017 car, but now gets smaller Force India branding prompting towards a name change in the works.
Finally making its debut, Sahara Force India has unveiled its 2018 Formula 1 challenger – VJM11 during pre-testing at Barcelona. The Silverstone team unveiled its new F1 car with drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez at the side wearing the new bright pink livery. The Silverstone team has earned quite a reputation in the past two seasons, having finished fourth in the constructors’ standings consecutively, and hopes are high that the team will put up a strong show this year as well. While the bright pink livery that debuted last year takes prominence on the VJM11, the Force India branding is significantly smaller prompting a name change is likely in order.
The 2018 Force India VJM11 is an evolution of last year’s VJM10 with key changes including tighter side pods, the absence of a shark fin cover and the T-wing, and the pink finished Halo safety device. BWT continues as a sponsor for Force India, while the team also announced that it has roped in Mexican oil company Pemex and lubricant company Ravenol as new sponsors. The VJM11 will continue to use a Mercedes sourced power unit.
Force India certainly surprised F1 fans and co-teams alike with its superlative performance during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The team certainly did better than what was expected of them, but will now face some serious threat as Renault, McLaren and Williams are eyeing the same position in the standings. Fans were equally surprised to see the friction between drivers Ocon and Perez that made news for the wrong reasons throughout last year. With several incidents hampering the team’s performance, the management banned both drivers from racing each other, a ban that has been carried over this year as well.
That said, the big new at Sahara Force India is a possible name change. With ‘India’ geographically limiting its reach worldwide, speculations have been rife that the team will be opting for a universal name. The Silverstone-based outfit also registered ‘Force One’ name last year in the UK. However, with limited Force India branding on the car and the garage, it is likely that the team will announce its name before the season kick-starts in Australia or by next year.