Force India has explained that restrictive rules are the reason the front of the new VJM10 looks the way it does.

The new breed of 2017 F1 cars were hyped up to look badass, with fan renderings and interpretations showing some amazing looking machines.

Things started well with the Sauber and the Renault. Both cars had kick-ass liveries and looked aggressive and mean, and there was already talk of how this would be the best looking grid of F1 cars in years.

The Renault looks pretty menacing
The Renault looks pretty menacing

There was a bit of disappointment that the cars still had the bizarre little thumb noses, though. Also the shark fins that were banned at the end of 2010 were now back (although with the right livery, they can actually look kinda cool).

So when the new Force India was revealed with not only a bland livery, weird three-pronged nose and a big ol’ silver shark fin, but a 2012-style stepped nose as well, there was a collective feeling of ‘oh no, not all this again’.

The 2012 season was a rhinoplasty surgeons dream
The 2012 season was a rhinoplasty surgeon’s dream

Not all the cars we’ve seen so far have this quirk though, so Force India’s technical director Andy Green explained why their car has the stepped nose.

“We have tried to exploit an area of the front suspension regulations that improved the characteristics of it from a mechanical perspective. It does mean that because of the way the regulations are worded, we cannot merge it into the nose as we would like. There is an exclusion box that we have to respect, so unfortunately we end up with a little bit of a ‘forehead’, as it is called.”

Ahhh, so its the fault of the regulations that the car has a stepped nose ‘forehead’. It’s pretty cool that it’s a result of their own innovations this time though, and not because it was the best aerodynamic solution to a rule made on safety grounds, as was the case in 2012.

The Force India VJM10 ain't pretty but if it's fast, it doesn't matter
The Force India VJM10 ain’t pretty but if it’s fast, that doesn’t matter

As for the nose? Green explained that it was just an evolution of the nose they used in 2016: “It is a different looking nostril as we had last year – the same philosophy. We just opened it up a little bit more.”

He also said that the car will look exactly the same when testing begins on the 27th. That’s a shame because it’s so hideous, but if it performs as well as the 2016 car did when they finished 4th in the championship, nobody will care. And we haven’t even seen all the cars yet – by the time they’ve all been released we might be talking about the Force India as one of the most attractive cars on the grid…