Force India is deviating from its usual early-season pattern in Bahrain, with an update package only three races into the F1 2017 campaign.
Having both drivers finish in the points in the opening two races can be seen as somewhat of a coup for Force India and stands the team in good stead to claim the title of ‘best of the rest’ again in 2017.
The outfit has ramped up its development efforts this season it would seem too, with numerous updates on the VJM10 for Bahrain when ordinarily we have to wait until the return to Europe for new parts.
At this point in the season, it's a case of attacking the areas of the car that bear the most low-hanging fruit, owing to the regulation changes most of which centres around the area just ahead of the sidepods.
Of course, making changes of any magnitude in the centre of the car often requires things to be addressed up- and downstream and, as such, the turning vanes mounted under the nose and chassis of the VJM10 have been altered.
The large slot usually found in the first element of the vanes has been removed entirely while the shape of the trailing edge has also been amended, with the aim to set up a revised airflow structure for the bargeboards behind.
Bargeboards and airflow conditioners
The bargeboards are the main component in the team's update with 9 serrations added along the surface's upper edge rather than the four previously employed (red arrow), whilst the pre-bargeboard mounted in front of the main one has been significantly increased in length (white arrow).
The airflow conditioners that previously framed the sidepod (yellow arrow) connecting at the side of the cockpit have been revised and now feature a shorter frame around the sidepod's shoulder before connecting to a vertical vortex generator.
The splitter extension ahead of the main floor has also been revised, with three large slots added to the surfaces leading edge.
This is likely an interim package of updates given the team has already suggested that it was very conservative on the cooling package going into 2017, with a narrower sidepod package expected in the coming races.