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Force India VJM02

Force India VJM02
CategoryFormula One
ConstructorForce India
Designer(s)James Key (Technical Director)
Mark Smith (Design Director)
Ian Hall (Chief Designer)
Bruce Eddington (Chief Engineer, Composites)
Dan Carpenter (Chief Engineer, Mechanical Design)
Simon Gardner (Head of R&D)
Richard Frith (Head of Vehicle Science)
Simon Phillips (Head of Aerodynamics)
PredecessorForce India VJM01
SuccessorForce India VJM03
Technical specifications
ChassisCarbon fibre composite monocoque with Zylon legality side anti-intrusion panels.
Suspension (front)Aluminium MMC uprights with carbon fibre composite wishbones, trackrod and pushrod. Inboard chassis mounted torsion springs, dampers and anti-roll bar assembly.
Suspension (rear)Aluminium MMC uprights with carbon fibre composite wishbones, trackrod and pushrod. Inboard gearbox mounted torsion springs, dampers and anti-roll bar assembly.
Axle track1480mm (front) 1420mm (rear)
EngineMercedes-Benz FO 108W 2.4L V8, naturally aspirated, mid-mounted
TransmissionMcLaren, 7 forward gears + 1 reverse, semi-automatic
Weight605kg (with driver, by regulations)
FuelMobil High Performance Unleaded (5.75% bio fuel)
LubricantsMobil 1 – for higher performance, lower friction and better wear resistance
TyresBridgestone with Forged wheels to Force India specification
Competition history
Notable entrantsForce India F1 Team
Notable drivers20. Germany Adrian Sutil[1]
21. Italy Giancarlo Fisichella[2]
21. Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi
Debut2009 Australian Grand Prix
Last event2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Force India VJM02 was Force India's Formula One car for the 2009 Formula One season. It was revealed in a low-key press event, after the car's first test at the Silverstone Circuit, on February 28, 2009, before a public test at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain the following day.[3][4] The Northamptonshire-based team's car is decorated in the colours of the Indian flag, and was driven by the same drivers as in 2008 – Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil.[3][5]

The VJM02 was the first British-based foreign F1 car to utilize ExxonMobil fuel and lubricants as Mobil brand, in which Esso and Exxon was used on Red Bull RB13 8 years later along with Mobil from 2017, as they are currently ExxonMobil brands from 1999. The VJM02 was also the first Mercedes-powered non-McLaren Formula One car since the Sauber C13 in the 1994 season.


Adrian Sutil during the 2009 Turkish Grand Prix

Two men instrumental in the early design of the VJM02, chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne and team principal Colin Kolles, were released from their contracts in late 2008, after a conflict with team owner Vijay Mallya.[6] The team decided late in development to change from a Ferrari to a Mercedes engine, along with McLaren gearboxes and hydraulics.[7] Adapting to these new components required a minor redesign of several parts of the car, including the suspension, side-pods and the rear aerodynamics.[7] In making such a late switch, the team chose to forfeit testing time in favour of development time, but were confident that the change gave them a better car than would otherwise have been the case.[7] The car also had a livery change, which turned from a white, red and gold paintjob, to a white, green and orange livery, which are the colours of the Flag of India, to note their Hindi heritage.

At the 2009 Bahrain Grand Prix, a revised floor and diffuser for the VJM02 were introduced, as well as an upgraded front wing and reprofiled sidepods. Driver Giancarlo Fisichella welcomed the upgrades, claiming the car's current lack of downforce will be addressed by the new modifications.[8] The team brought further updates at the 2009 European Grand Prix, which worked very well, giving the team their first podium finish at Spa, a day after Fisichella scored an unexpected pole position.

Technical specifications

New rules in place for the 2009 season require cars to have narrower and higher rear wings and wider and lower front wings, designed to reduce air disturbance to following cars and hence make overtaking easier.[9][10] Slick tyres will be re-introduced into Formula One, after being absent since 1998.[11] This will increase the VJM02's tyre grip by about 20%.[11]

The VJM02 had the option to feature a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS), which allows energy which would otherwise be wasted while braking to be re-used in set amounts per lap, via a boost button on the driver's steering wheel. The energy is stored in either a battery or a flywheel.[11] This is the result of new rules for the 2009 season.[11] The VJM02 was supposed to use the same system from the McLaren MP4-24, however Force India did not use it during the season.

Season summary

Overall, the VJM02’s performance was almost as poor as last season’s, only getting two points finishes, which ended up with them 9th on the constructors championship .[12]

Despite this, those two points finishes were remarkable: in Belgium, Fisichella got a surprise first pole position for the team and eventually finished second behind Kimi Räikkönen, which eventually gave him a fill-in spot in Ferrari in place of the injured Felipe Massa (Vitantonio Liuzzi being his replacement),[13] while Sutil managed a fourth place and a fastest lap in the next race, the Italian Grand Prix.[14][15]

Complete Formula One results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
2009 Force India Formula One Team Mercedes FO108W V8 B AUS MAL CHN BHR ESP MON TUR GBR GER HUN EUR BEL ITA SIN JPN BRA ABU 13 9th
Sutil 9 17 17 16 Ret 14 17 17 15 Ret 10 11 4 Ret 13 Ret 17
Fisichella 11 18 14 15 14 9 Ret 10 11 14 12 2
Liuzzi Ret 14 14 11 15

Driver failed to finish, but was classified as they had completed >90% of the race distance.


  1. ^ "Drivers: Adrian Sutil". Inside F1, Inc. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  2. ^ "Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella". Inside F1, Inc. 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  3. ^ a b Matt Beer (2009-02-28). "Force India reveal their new VJM02". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  4. ^ Matt Beer (2009-03-01). "Mallya: Force India have 'no excuses'". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  5. ^ "Force India revamps itself". Inside F1, Inc. 2008-11-07. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  6. ^ "The new Force India". Inside F1, Inc. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  7. ^ a b c Matt Beer (2009-03-01). "Force India admit timescale was tough". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2009-03-04.
  8. ^ "New floor and diffuser for Force India in Bahrain". Formula (Formula One Administration Ltd). 2009-04-22. Archived from the original on 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2009-04-24.
  9. ^ Matt Beer (2008-11-12). "Williams reveal 2009 wing package". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  10. ^ "Whiting talks about the new F1 rules". Inside F1, Inc. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  11. ^ a b c d "A beginner's guide to the 2009 rule changes". Formula One Management. 2008-11-27. Archived from the original on 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  12. ^ "2009 Constructors standings: Force India Mercedes". 27 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  13. ^ "2009 Formula 1 ING Belgian Grand Prix". 27 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  14. ^ "Formula 1 Gran Premio Santander d' Italia 2009". 27 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  15. ^ "2009 DHL Fastest Lap Award". 27 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  16. ^ "Force India VJM02". StatsF1. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
  17. ^ "All championship race entries, in a Force India VJM-02". ChicaneF1. Retrieved 18 September 2021.
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Force India VJM02
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