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Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Force India unveil Formula 1 car for the 2010 season

Force India launch 2010 challenger

Force India drivers Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi on their 2010 hopes

Adrian Sutil said he expected Force India to be strong in 2010 as the team unveiled the car he will drive in a low-key launch on Tuesday.

"This is the first time we have been completely on schedule," said Sutil.

"This is the first season when I can show from the beginning to end what is possible on the car and what I can do. It's important to be consistent."

Sutil and team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi will put the car through its paces at Wednesday's second test in Jerez.

The team opted out of last week's opening winter test in Valencia but will join the rest of the 2010 grid, with the exception of new teams Lotus F1, USF1 and Campos Meta 1, in Spain for this week's four-day test.

John Jeffries

Despite finishing ninth out of 10 teams, Force India had a landmark season in 2009, storming to their first pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix, which Giancarlo Fisichella converted into a first podium as he finished second.

Sutil is already feeling confident the team will be able to consistently challenge their rivals over the coming 19 races.

"This is a really important season and we are very optimistic about going well," said the German, who finished a career-high fourth at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix.

"It's important to be consistent from the first race. I'd like to be in the midfield and be competitive from (the opening race in) Bahrain.

"We have had a good winter and a very good development programme so expectations are high."

Liuzzi is also looking forward to what lies ahead as he takes part in his first full season since driving for Toro Rosso in 2007.

"I am really confident in the work the team have done over the winter and we've built a car that can regularly be in the points," Liuzzi said, who took over Ferrari-bound Fisichella's race seat for the final five races of 2009.

Force India drivers (left to right) Adrian Sutil, Vitantonio Lizzui and Paul di Resta
Sutil (left) and Liuzzi are the drivers with Scot Di Resta (far right) reserve

"That's also my aim, plus to be more consistent and competitive throughout the whole season."

Force India have refined their car to accommodate this season's rule changes which see a ban on refuelling during races and wheel covers and the introduction of narrower front tyres.

Vijay Mallya's team will use Mercedes engines for a second season as well as continuing their partnership with McLaren, who will again provide their gearbox.

"It's a natural progression from 2009," said design director Mark Smith.

"The back of the car is the area that has evolved most as obviously everyone has had a year of experience with the double diffusers so we've all gone into 2010 much wiser to what we can do.

"In both width and length the chassis is bigger because you have got a substantial amount more fuel.

"But it's felt a lot smoother this year compared to this time last year."

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see also
India races towards Formula 1 future
07 Feb 10 |  Business
Force India confirm Di Resta role
02 Feb 10 |  Formula 1
Force India retain Sutil & Liuzzi
27 Nov 09 |  Formula 1

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