Twitter user Jose Manuel Salazar claims that this render of a Formula One race car is, in fact, Force India's 2015 VJM08 car. Is he right, though? We'll find out with the start of the season. While Force India will be letting Pascal Weirlein test their car at Barcelona, it will be in their 2014 VJM07 instead.
Fractal Footwork over at Formula Freak had this to say of the rumored leak of the 2015 design:
Leaked on twitter, it appears to have a more Williams FW37-style nose, an S-Duct, two inlets behind the main overhead air inlet instead of the singular one ran last year, and aggressive sidepod packaging.
The 2015-spec "thumb nose" is a tad thumby in shape, but not perhaps as thumblike as the livery reveal's front end from this angle. To me, it looks much more like Ferrari's 2015 car with its more gradual protruding shape.
Either way, it still won't be done in time for any of the tests, however, Force India will be taking their 2014 car to Barcelona to let Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Weirlein have a go at it.
According to NBC Sports, news of Weirlein's test with Force India comes via the German publications Motorsport Total and F1-Insider. F1-Insider in particular suggests that the test is a favor Force India are doing for Mercedes, as the struggling team has reportedly not paid Mercedes yet for its power unit supply.
Weirlein is no slouch, having posted the fastest times in the Mercedes car during the tests at Abu Dhabi. This year, Weirlein will balance his responsibilities as a reserve driver for Mercedes in F1 with his drive in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series. He was the youngest ever race winner in DTM at age nineteen.
Barcelona is the last preseason test before the season starts, so this gives Weirlein precious seat time in an F1 racer during an era of limited testing, at a time in the preseason when most teams want their assigned drivers to get more experience in their cars.
So, is this render actually Force India's new car? Even though they're now showing up for tests, we'll still have to wait until the actual season to see the VJM08 in action.
[H/T Formula Freak]