Force India boss Vijay Mallya says his team is aiming to score "more points and more podiums" in the 2010 season following a promising 2009.
The Silverstone-based squad enjoyed what Mallya labeled as an exceptional 2009 season, in which the team scored its first podium as well as its first pole position on its way to ninth place in the standings. As Force India unveiled its 2010 challenger, Mallya stated more ambitious goals for the upcoming season.
"Our goal is to continue on the same path of performance improvement that we had at the end of 2009," said Mallya. "I don't think I am being over-proud when I say 2009 was an exceptional year for us. The bare statistics say it all: one podium, one pole position, one fastest lap, a further five top-10 starts and 13 points.
"We've learned from our experiences and we've come out a better team: resilient, resourceful and now resurgent. I hope 2010 will see this great progress carrying forward. We've got one podium so far but I would hope that, this time next year, I'm talking about more points and more podiums. I'm confident we can get this, why not aim high?'
The team's design director Mark Smith said the new car is an evolution of the machine that enjoyed a strong second half of the season last year.
"The VJM03 is definitely an evolution of the VJM02 in terms of the design philosophies we have developed at Force India over the last year," Smith said. "We are very happy with the direction, therefore we have opted to evolve the car rather than significantly revise.
"Obviously, one of the major aspects we have had to contend with are regulation changes which have had a considerable impact on some aspects of the design of the car. The removal of refueling from races increases the amount of fuel needed to be stored in the cars – almost twice the amount we ran in 2009.
"There is a compromise now: either make the car much longer or wider, or, as we have done, a combination of both. This, of course, has influenced the mechanical design solutions and also the aerodynamics, specifically with respect to the diffuser and bodywork. Even with the ban of double diffusers for 2011, we recognize that we still have to push as much as we possibly can in this area in 2010 as we have targets to meet and the double diffuser is a key development aspect of the car."
Smith is also hopeful the new car will be competitive on most types of tracks, unlike last year's VJM02, which struggled on high-downforce circuits.
"The VJM02 was a relatively low drag car that showed well on the low downforce tracks," he added. "As was demonstrated throughout 2009, that was a useful attribute but, as we go into 2010, we have tried to maintain a high level of aerodynamic efficiency, but we recognize that our championship position will be enhanced by a general level of performance that is suited to all types of circuits. We have, we believe, quite an efficient car overall."