Marussia Virgin Racing have launched their car to take on the 2011 world championship in a lavish London ceremony.
The Marussia name now preceeds Virgin following a major tie up with the Russian sportscar manufacturer and the team at the end of 2010. It has led to the new car being designated as the MVR-02.
Designed purely by CFD last season, the VR-01 was largely disappointing mostly due to reliability issues, but the Cosworth powered team are hoping for better things this season. The new car is a clear advancement on last seasons machine, in a similar fashion to Team Lotus, the experience of a season with development has led to a much tighter overall package being produced.
The Virgin features a much lower front nosecone than we have previously seen, and there is also an interesting exhaust design at the rear of the car – whether that is forcing some form of blown aerodynamics at the rear end we do not know.
Nick Wirth, head of design at the team was clearly very happy with the new car, citing a serious gain in aerodynamic strength and reliability.
“Since the middle of year we worked on process, we calibrated how fast we had to improve and what did we have to work on,” he said.
“We have done a huge amount of development of physics and what we are doing to catch up with everyone.”
“The back of car is heavily regulated from last year, and we managed to take this car and not only catch up where we were, but go above it in terms of aero efficiency – in every single way this car is faster and better than last year.”
The car still retains its red and black paintwork, but this year has some white thrown into the mix to make quite a good looking machine. Various high profile sponsors including of course Virgin and Marussia, but also QNET and CSC have retained sponsorship with the backmarkers providing a good financial base.
Timo Glock will race the car for a second season alongisde promoted rookie Jerome D’Ambrosio who ousted 2010 racer Lucas di Grassi from the race seat.
Glock, 28, says he is hopeful of a big step forward this season.
“We want to grab points in first races and then work from there,” he said. “We are much more sorted out, more structured, we have one year experience so we should be on a good way.
“But we have to realistic, we were 3-4 seconds off the pace last year and you never catch 3-4 seconds in winter time, so we have to make some improvement and then move up.
“I am hoping for a realistic step. I am happy to do a proper step over the winter with the team together and be strong in first races. When you see back to lots of crashes and technical problems – that is where we struggled last year and that is where we have to be strong.”
Team Lotus (the one who raced last year) have become the second team to officially pull the covers off their new 2011 car.
The green and yellow liveried machine will start be raced by Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen this season under the name of Team Lotus as the management’s row with Group Lotus, now affiliated with Renault, continues.
The new car retains the 50′s yellow and green livery that fans came to know and love last season. New sponsors stand side by side with old ones, on the now Renault powered machine.
On the technical side, Mike Gascoyne has said that the T128 is far more exciting, intricate and advanced than last seasons T128. There is much more thought and special design in the front wing roll hoop and on the side pods especially. The rool hoop/air box design is very similar to the blade design used by Mercedes in 2010, although this had been outlawed by the FIA – Lotus have found a way around the regulations.
“I think that basically this car looks like a frontrunning car in every area,” Mike Gascoyne said. “We said very clearly that we want to start challenging the established teams and I think that’s very achievable.”
“With last year’s car and especially the first half of the season it was just an exercise in survival, whereas from the middle of last year it was about building the team up – that’s when we started working on this car
“I think the thing that was a challenge this year was that the 2010 car really was a one-off, because of the way it was done with the design team and the time we had.
“There’s been almost no carry-over of parts for the 2011 car, whereas normally you’d have a substantial carry-over and the chance to optimise last year’s parts.”
Elliot Dason-Barber, head of R&D added: “The area that intrigues me the most is the front suspension, and the rear as well actually. We’ve tried to push the boundaries with a few things to make it a bit lighter and more efficient.”
The team’s aim this season then looks to be fighting at the front.
Veteran Jarno Trulli, who endured a torrid 2010 campaign with the team said this morning: ”Sitting on the grid in Bahrain this year will feel very different – a different tension,”
“Last year we were just aiming to finish the race. This year we’ll be aiming to finish in the points. With the package we have, that should be achievable.”
Ferrari have become the first team to launch their 2011 Formula One car – named the F150.
Thw F150 name comes from the fact it is 150 years since Italian unification, the flag bearer for the nation decided it was important to increase exposure of the major event in the country’s long history. The cars rear wing features an Italian tricolore flag too to increase the patriotism of the famous team.
The car itself is not abnormal in colouring to previous Ferrari’s, the beautiful scarlet paintwork is retained. Sponsors look thin on the ground, but they are bigt and important. Bank Santander have increased their sponsorship of the team, as they begin to move away from former team McLaren. Philip Morris brand Marlboro are still a sponsor, but have no presence on the car any more following the banning on the bar code blank out design. A new Scuderia Ferrari logo instead dominates the engine box.
The car looks very similar to the 2010 beast that nearly won the world title. It does not have a shark fin rear wing, as the f-duct system is now banned. Aldo Costa the chief designer at the team said the car looks similar but underneath is a whole new package.
“The major aspects with the most impact on the project were connected to the aerodynamic development. The car will change a lot. The double diffuser, the F-duct, is gone.” Costa told Ferrari.com
“The rear wing will be movable, so that the driver can overtake the car in front of him and use it in the qualifying according to his needs. The KERS is back. Although we’ve improved its size, it’s still quite big.
“As far as the looks are concerned the rules keep them [the cars] quite unaltered. The cars look like the ones from last year, but from a technical point of view they will be really different.”
The boss of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo has stated a clear intention that this car has been built to win the world championship.
“This year we have to win and we will do our best to win,” di Montezemolo declared at the team’s Maranello headquarters.
“We have updated the team, we have made some improvements and we are awaiting the challenges against our first opponents.”
Meanwhile star driver Fernando Alonso – who shook the car down a few days ago – was buoyant and said this vehicle was much better than last seasons.
“There are no doubts that when I arrived in January 2010, I drove a car that had different characteristics to what I drove in previous years,” said Alonso at Ferrari’s launch in Maranello today.
“Now I will drive a car that is a continuity of what I drove in 2010. I think all the developments and the direction that you go with improvements in the car over one year has some kind of definition of your driving style.
“I think that helps the designer of the car and the technical people with next year’s car, so I think in 2011 there will be some kind of direction that we took in 2010 regarding my driving style.
“So I think I will feel more confident with this year’s car. I will feel more comfortable driving the car, it will be more predictable to me. And I know the team now – I know the people, I know the guys, I know the names of all my mechanics, something that was not the case in Bahrain last year. So that will also help.”
Hispania, the recently re-named Campos Meta team have launched their first ever car last night with just over one week to go before the first round of the 2010 season in Bahrain.
The team, which was saved from extinction before its first race by businessman Jose Ramon Carabante, got re-named HRT-F1 a couple of days ago and confirmed Karun Chandhok as its second driver yesterday morning before displaying its car yesterday evening.
The machine has a chassis constructed by Dallara and engines by Cosworth, with be managed by new team principal Colin Kolles and Bruno Senna will bring back the eternal namesake to Formula One when he steps into the cockpit alongside Chandhok.
The car itself lacks sponsors, and is finished in a grey paint with a feint colouring of Spanish flag. Embratel is the only confirmed sponsor thus far through their deal with Senna.
“I am excited by our driver line-up and the amazing effort and passion I have witnessed from our entire team to get us to this point,” said Colin Kolles during a team presentation in Murcia, Spain.
“We have all tools in our hands to become the most successful new team in the F1 paddock this year.”
“There are always development and human issues within a team, but we are close to achieving our breakthrough in F1 and the coming season will be a massive learning curve for us working together.
“It would be a dream to win our first point in our first race, but we are focused on taking things one step at a time and building on our competitiveness as the season goes on.”
Lotus Grand Prix Racing are back in Formula One after a 16 year absence.
The team, reformed by Malaysian business magnate Tony Fernandes, the owner of Air Asia, launched their car – the T127 – in a lavish ceremony in Central London just a couple of hours ago.
The new car is decked out in swathes of green and yellow which will be familiar to any followers of classic Grand Prix, back in the hey-day of drivers like Jim Clark.
Looking a little sponsorless, despite its beautiful livery money will not be an issue to the multi-millionaire Fernandes, who has a bet on that his team will be better than rival airline owner Richard Branson’s new Virgin team.
Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen will be racing the car, a great pairing with plenty of experience for the team – with Fairuz Fauzy, the rated rookie as test driver.
“Words cannot express how I feel today,” said Fernandes. “It is an amazing job to get an F1 licence, have five people in Hingham and turn up today with this car.
“I was thrilled when Clive [Chapman] said that this was just like te beginning of Lotus back in the early days.”
He added: “We know we have a huge burden on our shoulers, standing on the shoulders of giants – Clark, Moss, Hill, and Mansell. We know we have a tremendous journey in front of us, we are honoured and cherished to be a part of history – we will leave no stone unturned in our efforts and we will do our best to return Lotus to its glory days.”
Mike Gascoyne, the former Toyota technical director was bouyant on the new car.
“The launch of the car is a very proud moment for the design team and the whole team,” said Gascoyne. “This one is very special for me personally for two reasons – firstly the Lotus name coming back into F1 is something very special.
“I grew up in Norfolk and went to school five miles down the road from the original factory. I grew up in era when Lotus was winning races and championships, so the opportunity to work with this team is very special. But also it is the challenge of bringing a new team and a new car into F1 in such a short space of time.
“What this is about for me, and it is the first launch I have been to where the whole team is here, there is a fantastic buzz about this place, the whole team has given their heart and soul to this project. I want to thank Tony on behalf of the whole team to have the courage to back us and trust us.
“We have a fantastic driver line-up who have put faith in the whole design team. I am proud to be up here on stage as a representative of that team, they have done a fantastic job.”
Meanwhile Italian driver Jarno Trulli said the whole event was very emotional.
“It is a very emotional moment for me – it will be great to take Lotus back on track where Lotus belongs and I think we have a big challenge, but it is what we are aiming for. I am really fired up for it,” he said.
Red Bull Racing have launched their 2010 title contender, the RB6 on a morning of testing in Jerez hampered by rain and cold weather.
The team who came oh-so-close to winning the 2009 title, hope that Adrian Newey’s clear develipment on the RB5 will be enough to gift one of their drivers the top spot in the drivers rankings this season. Sebastian Vettel, the hotly tipped German youngster and Mark Webber are driving the new car funded by the Austrian Energy Drink giant.
F1 media and workers alike were expecting something quite revolutionary from Newey’s design team, but instead we have been handed a fairly ordinary looking car, with a McLaren style shark fin and a very intricate front wing.
Sponsorship and livery mostly come in the form of Red Bull, with Total fuels and oils sponsoring the team – further cementing the teams relationship with the Renault engine supply.
No-one from Red Bull was available to talk aboit the new car, but Sebastian Vettel did comment on the pressure he is facing being the favourite to win the world title.
“Most important now is that the car is running and that we improve the reliability and speed. First you need to make your car work, then you see where you are and according to that you set your expectations.
“For sure there is only one target, to be just one step better than last year. I want to win the world championship. If we are the favourites, that’s fine. If not, that’s fine too.”
“I hope to be competitive, I hope the car is good – but Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes all look good, especially with Michael (Schumacher) back, its going to be very interesting”
Force India become the latest team to show off their 2010 creation after taking the covers off the VJM03.
The team were speculated to be in financial difficulties following a mis-timed tax return, however all now seems well and on the back of a successful 2009 season, they look to the future with the more advanced design of this car.
The Silverstone based squad will have Adrian Sutil, the perennial German and Vitantonio Liuzzi racing for them, with DTM ace Paul di Resta working Friday practice and test role for them.
“There’s a little bit of variety out there but predominantly we are happy,” Mark Smith, design manager told Autosport. “You will always see something on each car that makes you think ‘that’s interesting’ but understanding how they work on your car is the key thing.
“We haven’t looked at photos and thought ‘we’ve missed something significant’ and we’re excited to get down to Jerez.”
Vijay Mallya was bouyant over his team, and said he wants podiums and points regularly this season.
“Our goal is to continue on the same path of performance improvement that we had at the end of 2009,” said Mallya.
“I don’t think I am being over-proud when I say 2009 was an exceptional year for us. The bare statistics say it all: one podium, one pole position, one fastest lap, a further five top 10 starts and 13 points.
“We’ve learnt from our experiences and we’ve come out a better team: resilient, resourceful and now resurgent. I hope 2010 will see this great progress carrying forward.
“We’ve got one podium so far but I would hope that, this time next year, I’m talking about more points and more podiums. I’m confident we can get this, why not aim high?’
Vitantonio Liuzzi, a driver who promised so much but has had little chance to deliver says that 2010 is a fresh start for him.
“In Force India I feel really good, the atmosphere is great and the team works well together,” he said. “Even when I was in a difficult position last year as a test driver they were very supportive and I’ve built a good strong relationship with them.
“I feel like I’m in a family and for sure much better environment than I have been in the past. This year is a new start for me. I’m a different person from two years ago and I am approaching it from a different mentality.
“It’s a different Tonio and I’m looking forward to what can come. I’m still young and have a lot of time in front of me so I just want to prove what I can do.”
Virgin Racing have launched their new car, the first of the “new teams” to do so with the covers finally coming off the VR-01 today.
The launch was supposed to be broadcast live, but a major technical glitch left fans and reporters sat watching a black screen, and the joke was most certainly on Virgin who beamed about their car being designed exclusively on computers – and they couldn’t even get a video stream working.
Nevertheless we finally saw the new car which is quite a looker, in a black and red livery quite similar to the former Midland F1 cars of 2006.
The sponsors are there, which makes a change to some of the more recent launches.
“Today is a very proud day for everyone involved with Virgin Racing, however on this occasion, where the car is the star, I want to pay tribute to all the amazing people at Wirth Research who deserve so much of the credit for the VR-01,” said designer Nick Wirth.
“Putting together an F1 team, assembling an engineering group and designing a new car from scratch is an epic task in the timeframe we have been working to.
“I have been fortunate to have worked with the very best designers in F1 and I am well aware of exactly what it takes to be successful in this sport. When you see what the existing teams have achieved using the conventional but proven design approach, it is unsurprising that there is a great deal of scepticism about our all-CFD approach.
“But we are competing in a sport that is undergoing significant change having come face to face with today’s harsh economic realities. Under resource restriction, convention will become too costly and necessity really will be the mother of invention. I have absolute belief in the digital design process and the opportunity to put the all-CFD approach to the test at the highest level – to demonstrate that this could be the way for the future of F1 – is very, very exciting.”
Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi will be driving the car, originally bought into F1 under the Manor moniker and now known as Virgin from Richard Branson’s business group.
Mercedes Benz may have done a livery launch last week in Stuttgart, slapping the new sponsor logos onto the old championship winning Brawn, but today was the first time we go to see the fruits of the labours of the championship winning teams work under the new backing of Mercedes.
The car isn’t the most easy on the eye, and has a very complex front wing but interestingly does not run with a shark-fin tail wing which we have seen so often already. the rear does in fact look fairly similar to the Ferrari F10 (which is leading the morning test times), so that should be some comfort for old Ferrari man Michael Schumacher.
Check out the photos below of the new machine!
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s launch of the STR5 may have been low-key today in Valencia, but it was a pivotal moment in the history of the team which used to be the fans favourite Minardi.
Up until now, Toro Rosso, who joined F1 in 2006, have used and shared car parts with major backer Red Bull. However with the ban on customer cars, they have been forced to go it alone the TR5 is the product of that. And my, it looks lovely!
Toro Rosso have always had a nice paint scheme, in my personal opinion I think it looks better than the one on the RBR itself. the junior team faces a tough test with two good drivers hauling the Ferrari powered machine around, Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari.
“2010 is a landmark year for Scuderia Toro Rosso as the new regulations demand that we go it alone in terms of designing and building our car in-house,” said team boss Franz Tost.
“After four years of working in collaboration with Red Bull Technology, the TR5 is the first car that is one hundred percent down to our own endeavours.
“Creating the necessary infrastructure to tackle this task has been our biggest challenge, possibly more difficult than actually producing the car itself. We have taken on an additional eighty staff and expanded our facility to accommodate them, including a Machine Shop to increase our production capacity.
“In addition, we have commissioned a wind tunnel in Bicester, England, which we bought from Red Bull. It will take time for the highly skilled team we have assembled to learn to work together as efficiently as possible.
“Making predictions for the coming season is a dangerous trap, but if pushed, I would say we must aim to finish in the top eight in the Constructors’ Championship, while giving our young drivers everything they need to improve, as well as optimising our infrastructure in order to be as competitive as possible in 2010 and beyond.”
Renault have launched their 2010 F1 car, named the R30 today in the second of the launches before the pre-season test at Valencia.
The new car is painted in a radical yellow and black livery, quite stunning and one that harks back to the old days of Renault F1 cars. it is a move away from the white and orange of the previous title sponsors ING and a clear move away from the sky blue liveries used when Renault were sponsored by Mild Seven.
Sponsorship is a big sticking point with this car, because like the Sauber there aren’t many sponsors to mention, with many teams now looking thin on the ground the advertisers. Clearly many firms thinking that the economic recession was a signal that sponsorship was not necessarily the best method of spending cash. Perhaps 2011 will see more advertisers.
Robert Kubica will be joined at the team, as expected but only confirmed today with Vitaly Petrov, a highly rated youngster who was runner up in the GP2 series last year. Petrov will be the first ever Russian Formula One driver.
“The start of a new Formula 1 season is always a time of great anticipation,” said new team boss Eric Boullier.
“For Renault, this is particularly true of the 2010 season as we begin a new era for the team.
“With a new structure in place, new drivers, and new colours, there is a lot to be excited about and a lot to look forward to in the year ahead.
“Setting objectives is never easy, but it’s clear that we have high ambitions for 2010 as we aim to take Renault back to the front of the grid. However, this is not going to happen overnight and our ambition is to make this journey one step at a time.
“The R30 should be a competitive, strong and reliable car and we’ve opted for an aggressive development strategy. The factories in Enstone and Viry have been working flat-out during the long winter months to ensure that we begin the new season in the best shape possible. These factories have been successful in the past and they haven’t forgotten how to win in Formula 1.”
Sauber have launched their first independent F1 car since 2005 today, the team took the covers off their new car known as the C29 in a low-key ceremony in Valencia.
The car retains a BMW Sauber style paint job with a majority white finish and bits of navy and a tiny streak of red, but so far the team possesses no sponsors of note. Hopefully this will change before the season opener in Bahrain in 6 weeks time. Another thing which we hope will change is the name, at the moment the team are still known as BMW Sauber F1, but I’m sure Peter Sauber, and Ferrari their engine supplier would like that name adjusted.
The car features an uncharacteristically high nose, but once again it is a long one – clearly a 2010 common feature. the car has a beautifully sculpted rear, and features a shark-fin wing like the one on the McLaren albeit a little shorter. The Sauber is probably, in my mind, the most visually pleasing of the 2010 cars so far, but it remains to be seen whether it will be fast.
Willy Rampf, technical director was bouyant.
“The development of the BMW Sauber C29 has seen the team build on the experience gained last year and the improvement in performance over the final third of the season. However, the new regulations banning refuelling during the race and stipulating a reduced width for the front tyres have required significant changes to the car’s design.”
Owner Peter Sauber was happy with progress, admitting it has been a frantic chase to the grid.
“The last few months have been very intense for us,” said Sauber. “First we had to battle to secure the survival of the team and then we focused on putting a strong set-up in place for the future.
“The technical preparation of the 2010 car has continued uninterrupted and according to plan since the spring of 2009, despite all the turmoil. We have a long tradition of bringing together an up-and-coming youngster and an experienced campaigner as a driver combination – and it’s an approach that has brought us a lot of success.”
The drivers for 2010 are talented rookie Kamui Kobayashi, and 38 year old perennial McLaren test driver Pedro de La Rosa who says he never expected to get another shot at racing.
“At last I can feel like a proper racing driver again,” he said. “I’ve really missed the competition out on the track. At the same time, though, I’ve learned a lot technically and on the systems side, and now I want to bring that knowledge to the team.”
The car will be on track testing from tomorrow, along with most of the other teams in Valencia. Renault launch their new car, the R30 this afternoon.
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro have launched their 2010 season contender today in Maranello, and it is certainly a beautiful car.
The Italian team are pinning all their hopes on the car to win the world title following a largely disappointing 2009. With Kimi Raikkonen gone, the team now have Fernando Alonso, a driver they have been pursuing for some time.
The car looks fresh and has some features seen on more successful 2009 cars, such as the nose rumps from the Red Bull RB5. As the afternoon shakedown was cancelled due to weather, we will not know how competitive the car – named the F10 – will be until Valencia next week.
The F10 also benefits from the new Ferrari paint scheme with swathes of white on the red for new sponsor Santander. The Spanish bank is toning down operations with McLaren as it moves to Ferrari. It is also likely to be the last time we see the Marlboro bar codes on the Ferrari, now relegated only to the engine cover, as the tobacco firm’s sponsorshop deal ends in 2011.
“This championship will be very important for us,” said team boss Stefano Domenicali. “The last championship, for different reasons, was not very positive, that is why we are dealing with this one looking to be competitive – and this is what Ferrari deserves to have.”
He added: “We have two new drivers, why two new drivers? Fernando Alonso, is a twice world champion and we will say after the second one he will have a third one. He already appears among the big champions in F1, it is the right moment for him, for us, he wants to be successful and we want to repeat what the team concept is in our group.
“Felipe, we are talking of a new version of Felipe, but after such a dramatic championship like last year with the accident in Hungary and such a fantastic season, Felipe has all the assets to prove that he is a very successful one, he can prove that he wants to restart his pathway that destiny interrupted it in Hungary. Good luck to both of them.”
Fernando Alonso was very upbeat on the arrival of the F10.
“This is the first time for me, the first presentation for Ferrari, and it is a big emotion for me,” said Alonso.
“I want to thank the whole team because they have worked really hard in the last few months to create this dream, this new car, and I want to thank sponsors and partners as they have worked hard and there is a lot of passion.
“We are ready to take this challenge and the responsibility to bring it to 100 per cent of its potential. Felipe and I will be a very strong team and we hope we will make all the Ferrari supporters around the world very proud to see this car winning the championship.”
Mercedes Benz have launched their team officially today with the unveiling of their 2010 team colours. The actual 2010 car, known as the MGP FO1, will be shown to the public at the forthcoming Valencia test series. Both drivers have been confirmed to be testing the car at the aforementioned test.
The event, in Stuttgart, was the first time to see Michael Schumacher in full Mercedes regalia.
The new car design harks back to the old Mercedes Silver Arrows days with a lot of ilver on the car fading into grey. Petronas, the Malaysian petroleum company are the teams title sponsor and take a large part of the advertising space on the car, with small elements of their sky blue colouring.
Other sponsors to the team include, MIG and Aabar and of course the Bridgestone tyre company.
“With today’s presentation of our new Mercedes GP Petronas Formula 1 team, a new and certainly the most important chapter of over 100 years of Mercedes-Benz motorsport history begins,” said Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug. “The new Formula 1 season will offer challenges which will be bigger than ever before in over sixty years of the sport’s history.
“We look forward to the cooperation with our drivers Nico Rosberg who has enormous capabilities and perspectives, and with seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher who is no less motivated than at the time when he began his professional motor racing career with Mercedes-Benz and then made his first step into such a successful Formula One career with our support.
“Today I also cordially welcome our new title partner Petronas as well as our co-investor Aabar/IPIC together with all of our team partners. I warmly welcome all our colleagues from last year’s World Championship team Brawn GP headed by Ross Brawn and Nick Fry to the Mercedes family. There are challenging tasks ahead of us and we will tackle them with power, consistency and full motivation.”
Michael Schumacher says he is confident that the team are ready for the title fight.
“I think we have everything it takes to do it,” said Schumacher, appearing in Mercedes-Benz race overalls.
“It’s one thing to have all the ingredients to be able to cook it up but it’s another thing to have a good result. I believe with the experience Ross has, with what we did last year, having Mercedes as the team itself, with all the experience and the know-how and the quality they have, on top of myself… I’m sorry but there’s only one target.
“But it’s one thing to have a target and another thing to achieve it.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso have launched their 2009 challenger the STR4 at Jerez, Spain.
The new car is very similar to the Red Bull Racing RB5, but Giorgio Ascanelli has denied that it is a simple rebadging process for the machine.
It will be powered by Ferrari engines.
The drivers for this season are Sebastien Buemi and Sebastien Bourdais. Confidence is high for the team, which was once Minardi, because of their amazing race victory at Monza last season.
“The 2008 season was good in terms of our on-track performance, which, it’s fair to say, exceeded our expectations, with our biggest ever haul of points, a pole position and a win. It’s going to be tough to live up to that this year,” team boss Franz Tost said
“Therefore our target has to be to leave every race track on a Sunday night, knowing we have done the best job we could. The results will then depend on how everyone else has done.”
Ascanelli claims that the car is indeed different to the RB5;
“Red Bull Technology does extremely significant work in defining the essential characteristics of the new car: its length, wheelbase, weight distribution, its basic metric characteristics,” said Ascanelli.
“However, with any F1 car, the packaging revolves around an engine and peculiarities from the drivers and, as we run a different engine to our sister team, it involves a different fuel system and fuel tank. Therefore, ours is completely different to the Red Bull Racing car and is designed here by us.”
Force India have launched their 2009 car, the VJM02.
It will be driven by experienced Italian Giancarlo Fisichella and young German Adrian Sutil. Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi will be the third and test driver for the team.
The new car looks very different to the VJM01, thanks to the swathes of new technical regulations, but also in terms of colour. The Force India has gone from a very similar colour scheme to McLaren to a white/orange/green scheme designed to portray the national colours of India.
The car features a wider nose similar in some ways to that of the Renault R29. We like the flaps in-built onto the centre of the front wing too. Force India have utilised some aerodynamic downforce from external winglets at the end of the sidepod in similar fashion to Ferrari and Red Bull Racing.
It is Force India’s second car, and it will be powered by Mercedes Benz engines in a new deal.
“At least from my perspective, winning races I think I can certainly aspire for maybe in 2010, but for 2009 I would be happy if we are regularly in the points,” said team co-owner Vijay Mallya “That would be already a major step forward.”
The car will have its official track debut tomorrow at Jerez, but it had a shakedown at Silverstone last week.
Shakedown at Silverstone
Williams have launched the definitive final livery for their 2009 car the FW31 in a minor ceremony at their factory in Grove today.
We released a picture spotted in the back of a garage at Jerez of the colour scheme earlier on this month (http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/spotted-williams-fw31-2009-livery/ ).
The final edition is very close to that, and feature heavy branding from electronics supplier Philips and former banking giant RBS with whom the sponsorship deal will end this season.
The team are hoping that they can get a win this season, having not experienced the top step of the podium in the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix with Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya.
“We’d love to be a winner or in the top three all the time,” said Williams.
“But to be very close to the top three would be a big step for year one. It’s by no means impossible, but it depends how good we’ve been this winter. We might get lucky with the car.”
Red Bull Racing have today launched their 2009 contender, the RB5.
It will be the teams 5th car, and will be piloted by Australian Mark Webber and German rookie sensation Sebastian Vettel.
Their car shares some similarities with the Ferrari F60, with winglets across the top of the nose, and also with the protruding poles out of the floor wide by the sidepods for aerodynamic purposes, and also those wide wing mirrors. The sidepods also feature in-built bargeboards, very similar to other cars. The incredibly thin nose is a throwback to some older McLaren cars, a clear Adrian Newey design piece.
Scuderia Toro Rosso will probably run an incredibly similar car.
Christian Horner said;
“2009 will also see us benefit from greater stability in terms of how we run the operation, with all our key players in the technical group having been with us for at least two years,” said Horner. “We should not forget they designed a car that won a grand prix in 2008, in the hands of Sebastian Vettel and Scuderia Toro Rosso.
“There is no reason to believe we cannot do that again with these new rules. The regulation changes almost constitute a new formula for the sport and it will be interesting to see how the teams interpret them.
“Certainly in the early part of this season we expect to see a much bigger spread in terms of performance between the teams than we have over the past two years. “
Sebastian Vettel admitted the clear goal was to win races.
“The target is to win. Obviously it’s not correct sitting here and say I am going to win the world championship. I want to, but we need to see.
“We need to see how we are going, where we are in comparison to the others. I believe that the new rules could give a chance to teams like us to close the gap to the front but the favourites are Ferrari and McLaren, no doubt.
“If we are doing extremely well then we will be in a position to score points regularly and maybe fight for a little bit more. I am not the kind of guy to tell you we are going to be here. I prefer to stay on the floor and work hard. If we are getting a surprise then it’s much better!”
BMW Sauber have become the latest F1 team to launch their 2009 car, the F1.09 is the car the team are hoping will secure them at the front of the grid after a successful 2008 season. Last season saw Robert Kubica (retained) win the Canadian Grand Prix.
The F1.09 is obviously different thanks to the swathes of regulation changes, but we can draw some big similarities and differences with other 2009 cars previously launched.
The car will be driven this season once again by Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica.
The frong wing looks wider than the rest despite its dimensions, probably down to those large proruding pieces on the top and bottom of the end plates. It is also a three-plane style wing, with a large square nose similar to that of the R29. The sidepods are very blocky and feature no aerodynamic pieces as stipulated in the rules, making this BMW look very different to all of the others and in some ways incredibly stark.
The car itself, finished in the traditional white/blue/red BMW Motorsport colours, shows real signs of the biting world economic crisis. It has literally no sponsors. Petronas Malaysia still are the front runner in terms of advertising space, and probably will stay with the team as they have been involved with Sauber since the original team days. Intel now have much more space, and T-Systems are on the wings. BMW’s other major backer, Credit Suisse pulled out of sponsorship earlier on in the week as reported on F1Fanatics.
“Developing a new Formula One car is always exciting, but this time there was something even more special about it. We really were starting from scratch,” said Willy Rampf, team technical director.
“First and foremost, the switch from grooved tyres to slicks means more grip, of course, but it also moves the balance of forces further forward: removing the grooves gives the front tyres proportionally a greater contact area and more grip than the rear tyres.
“Because the car differs so significantly from its predecessor, we already started work on the first concept studies in February – two months earlier than normal and before the F1.08 had even started its first race.
“Our aim. was to build a car with high aerodynamic efficiency and in so doing claw back as much of the downforce as possible, which the new regulations had taken away.”
Meanwhile speculation remains about whether the team will run the KERS system at the first event.
“KERS is still the most challenging part of the new package to me,” said Dr Mario Theissen during the launch of the new car in Valencia.
“We are still not ready to race, but if I look at what progress we have made in last 12 months, it’s amazing. We have learned so much.
“We are still pushing hard. We are not ready yet. I am sure we will be ready at some point, I don’t know whether we will be ready for Melbourne.”
Williams have joined Renault in launching their 2009 challenger today in a low key event at the Portimao Circuit in Portugal.
The British based team left test driver and rising star Nico Hulkenberg with the duty to show the new car, named the Fw31 to the presses.
The new machine will give the team optimism to get back to the top with the swathes of new rule changes leaving this car completly different to the FW30. Still powered by a Toyota engine, this car has a lot in common with the Ferrari F60. It has a very similar front wing, and aerodynamic winglets protruding from the sidepods where Ferrari houses its wing mirrors.
The car seen here is in an interim test livery and will have a liverly launch nearer to the first round of the season in March.
Philips have become a larger sponsor to the team, who are struggling to find backers in the increasingly tough economic crisis. Thomson, Oris and RBS still remain on the car, but for RBS how much longer must be questioned as they posted a £20billion loss, the largest loss for a British company ever today.
Renault today lifted the covers off their 2009 car, the R29 and what a shock it was!
Nope, not the heavily modified look of the machine to match the 2009 regulations, stipulating the wide front wing, tight coke bottle rear and the tiny rar wing but it was the garish colour scheme. The blue has gone, and there is much more yellow and for the first time red, to match the arrival of Total Fuels, a first time sponsor to the team.
Despite the world financial crisis, alongside Total Fuels, ING remain as the big sponsor. Mutua Madrilena are also present and on board.
The car ha s along wide, driver adjustable front wing which is very similar to Ferrari’s, but it has a much fatter and blockier nose. The rear end around the back of the sidepods is heavily curved (see pictures). The car also retains the fin wing on the back of the engine box.
Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr. will be looking to the top of the podiums in the latest car to be released.
McLaren Mercedes have launched their 2009 car which they hope will deliver them another drivers world title.
The car, named the Mp4-24 will be powered by a Mercedes Benz V8, also present in the Force India car.
The car is strikingly different from last years thanks to the swathes of new regulation changes, but despite the close aerodynamic limits the car is rather different from their main competitor, Ferrari’s F60. The McLaren has no aero pieces around the cocke bottle, something Ferrari have got with their ingenious wing mirrors, and also the rear wing is completly different with sloping back endplates with slashes, and its also centrally mounted.
It remains to be seen whether the two teams will be as close as they have been across the past two seasons.
“Extensive rule changes require extensive amount of work – these are the biggest rules changes we have seen in 15 years” McLaren boss Ron Dennis told presses at the McLaren Technology Centre today.
“That requires the technologists in our organisation, they are not just engineers but scientist with high qualifications, to go back to a plain piece of paper and conceptualising what the fundamental requirement are for the regulations.
“It is there you can get it wrong because if you get it wrong no amount of development can sort it out. What you see in the MP4-24 is a car correctly conceptualised.
“At the same time you are trying to make a good looking car, that is a value we put high, if it looks good it goes good, so what you see is a tremendous outcome from a lot of people, it is a credit from not just the technologists but the other people, this is a fully running car that can run on a circuit tomorrow.
“But this is a second car, the first is already at Portugal, so we feel we are in a good position to attack the time up to the first grand prix. It will be a critical time because it will set the baseline for the rest of the season.”