Mumbai, Feb 8 : Force India Formula One owner Vijay Mallya unveiled its Formula One car for 2008 season at a glittering ceremony here last evening with confidence that it would mark the start of better performances.
The Ferrari-powered VJM01 was unveiled in front of a large crowd against the backdrop of the Gateway of India.
Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, who was present at the unveiling ceremony, wished the team success.
"I feel so proud that now we have a team from India and only Vijay could do that. So, I only want to say Force India Vijay Ho!" Shilpa said.
Mallya, head of UB group and Kingfisher Airlines, said the aerodynamic of the car has been improved with the help of aviation majors EADS and Airbus following the airline's tie-up with them.
Force India, who raced as Spyker last season before being bought and renamed by a group headed by Mallya, have already confirmed Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and German Adrian Sutil as their drivers.
Spyker scored just one point and finished 10th overall in the 11-team championship after McLaren were stripped of all their points for a spying controversy.
Force India, in their new livery of gold, tungsten and white, are looking to improve their performance.
"This is the first time the Formula One team is being launched. We will participate in the World Championship 2008. The first race will be in Australia in March. I believe that we will be a great success," Mallya said.
The budget for the season has been set at 120 million dollars, an increase of 50 million dollars from last year.
The drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and German Adrian Sutil were present but there was no demonstration lap.
The new car's first test run is scheduled for Spain's Barcelona circuit on February 25. The season starts in Australia on March 16.
Narain Karthikeyan became India's first Formula One driver in 2005 when he raced for the now defunct Jordan team and with this interest in motor racing picked up in the country.
India will host its first Formula One grand prix in 2010.
Story first published: Friday, February 8, 2008, 14:33 [IST]
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