Force India-Mercedes Team Principal Vijay Mallya walks in the paddock during the third practice session at the Buddh International circuit. (Photo: Getty Images)

boss stands by at Buddh International Circuit. (Photo: Getty Images)

Force India team boss Vijay Mallya says he’s excited ahead of a new season that sees the team running a new driver lineup as well as a fresh livery.

The VJM07 is the first 2014 car unveiled to the public thus far, albeit with one side view photo.

“I always enjoy seeing a Formula One car come to life, but I can’t remember so much anticipation ahead of a new season,” said Mallya.

“The rule changes have presented us with a huge challenge, but I’m very proud of the approach we have taken and the direction of the technical team. It will be fascinating to see how different teams have interpreted the rules, and at this stage it’s impossible to predict who has done the best job. It’s this uncertainty that should make for a very entertaining season of racing, which is great news for the fans.

“We’ve got to aim higher than last year. It’s an ambitious goal, but I believe it’s a realistic one because we have to look forward and take the fight to the teams ahead of us. We have the key elements in place to continue moving forward, such as our expanded agreement with Mercedes-Benz to include the complete power unit and gearbox. As I’ve said before, I believe they represent the best partner to work with in this new era of Formula One. Combined with our strong driver lineup, there is definitely the potential for 2014 to be our strongest season yet.”

Mallya says he’s excited about the driver lineup.

“I’m very happy to have such an exciting pairing of Nico (Hulkenberg) and Checo (Sergio Perez),” he said. My philosophy has always been to choose drivers based on their speed and ability to perform, and we’ve done that again this year. Nico has been with us before, so we understand him and know how quick he is. It’s great to have him back. As for Sergio, he’s an exceptionally talented driver who I have watched carefully over the last three years. He’s clearly got incredible speed and at just 23 has great potential. As a combination, we thought they would make a strong pairing. Nico will be a good benchmark for Sergio, and vice versa, and they will bring out the best in each other.

“The new car livery reflects the way Sahara Force India is evolving. I’ve always believed the saffron, white and green livery has made our cars the most eye-catching, but adding black as a main color gives us a fierce new look. The national colors of India remain an integral part of the car, but the tiger has become a panther! As we enter our seventh season with new partnerships and new names on the car, our contemporary new look helps signal our ambition.”

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