Stegosaurus: Force India’s VJM10 Engine Cover Fin

Steven Coney

While that first corner incident will dominate people’s discussions surrounding the Singapore Grand Prix, maybe more focus should be on Force India and their ambitious aero tweaks which have seen the Stegosaurus come back to life – and into Formula 1!

The Silverstone-based team are currently stuck in that ‘almost challenging but not quite there’ stage but received a welcome 11 points after Sergio Perez’s sixth-place finish, while Esteban Ocon came home in tenth.

Force India are probably in the best position to push the envelope and try something a bit different, especially with the aero tweaks this season meaning teams are always searching for the next modification that could give them the vital edge.

The team caused a bit of a stir in the Marina Bay paddock when it revealed some rather dramatic changes it had made to the VJM10 heading into the weekend.

Along with a triple-decker T-wing, there was also a series of over 30 mini flaps running along the top of the engine cover fin which has been dubbed the ‘Stegosaurus’.

Hey, there’s one thing you can’t accuse Force India of being and that’s dinosaurs…

While this all looked fine and dandy, people were sceptical whether it would actually work. Well, fear not. Following a successful first test on Friday, the fin was kept on for the rest of the race weekend and there’s no doubt the team will consider it a success.

The fins have been introduced not to look cool (which they do) but to help airflow to the car’s new largest T-wing. Force India developed the package just before the summer break so it’s clear to see the team are not resting on its laurels despite a fourth-place finish in the Constructors’ Championship looking all but nailed on.

The twisty Singapore circuit certainly isn’t a track that plays to the strengths of the Force India car, powered by the Mercedes engine, but their aero tweaks will be almost definitely seen again this season.

“It all comes as a package with the triple T-wing.

“We developed it just before the summer shutdown and there is a good chance we will see it again – at Mexico.

“Potentially we will be trying it out at other tracks as well.”

Force India technical director Andy Green.

How much the new T-wing and Stegosaurus look actually helped the car is hard to gauge. Yes, Perez and Ocon started in P12 and P14 but the first lap drama certainly played its part, helping them climb through the field.

Still, it looks as if the team are confident enough to give it a go at other tracks this season and why not? Williams won’t be catching them in the Constructors’ table anytime soon!

The biggest question coming out of the weekend is whether other teams will bring in a Stegosaurus look of their own. It’s a development never seen before in the sport and the rest of the paddock will definitely have looked on with great interest and some envy.

Will Force India’s rivals follow in their footsteps? We would be Steg-gered if they didn’t…

Start the discussion

to comment