Williams unveil car
Williams has unveiled their new car officially online. William gave the world a glimpse of the sport’s new era after releasing computer-generated images of their 2017 car.
The pictures give away very little in terms of the detail of the real car, but the FW40 does feature a large shark fin as seen on the majority of F1 cars launched so far. The team has what appears to be an s-duct on the front of their car, but hasn’t given away the rear.
In a statement the team said, “Although cosmetically the 2017 cars will look very different to their 2016 predecessors, the core of the car, the power unit and the areas situated around the power unit, have not changed a great deal.”
Felipe Massa will be the first to drive the FW40 when pre-season testing begins in Barcelona on Monday. He will then rotate with rookie Lance Stroll, with the Canadian getting his first opportunity behind the wheel of the new car on Tuesday.
Red Bull launch online
Red Bull have revealed there 2017 car, the RB13 on social media ahead of pre-season testing. The car designed by Adrian Newey is expected to see the team return to a position where they should be able to fight with Mercedes for this year’s championship.
The RB13 features a hole in the nose and a ‘shark fin’, which all teams, barring Mercedes, have fitted on their challengers so far.
Last season, the British-based team won two races and beat Ferrari to second in the constructors. This season the team are hoping that their drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are able to fight with Mercedes.
Christian Horner told Sky Sports “It feels like we are building momentum. There is a feeling of real optimism within the team that if we can nudge a bit closer on the engine – chassis-wise we are hoping to come up with a good car to give our guys the tools to fight Mercedes.”
Red Bull will be hoping that their improved performance in 2016, will see them overtake Mercedes on track. Last season the team other than the Silver Arrows to claim a victory, with Verstappen and Ricciardo taking a win apiece in Barcelona and Malaysia.
Horner added, “We’ve been quite good with regulation changes before, but nothing can be taken for granted.”
Slimmer approach from Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso has officially unveiled the teams 2017 car, the STR12 at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. Like sister team, Red Bull and Haas the Italian team chose to launch their car online.
Last week the team gave their new car its shakedown test at Misano. The team has changed it livery for this season; this comes as no surprise as there have been various reports saying it could change its livery. The team has gone for the same colour as the Austrian drinks giants’ cola brand.
This season the team will return to Renault power after a season running a 2015 Ferrari engine last year. However, it’s expected the team will sell the naming rights to a sponsor, but they haven’t confirmed the ‘engine badge’ of the car.
The STR12 features a slimmer and more conventional nose than the majority of 2017 challengers, although does include the common shark fin engine cover design.
The car will be driven by Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat. Both drivers will be looking to build their names this season unlike in previous years, Toro Rosso has retained both drivers for a third season.
Toro Rosso lost out in the second half of 2016, slipping to seventh place in the constructors’ standings, but team principal Franz Tost is confident his team can secure a record-high finish of fifth this season.
Haas launches VF-17
Haas have launched their 2017 car the VF-17 at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. Like Red Bull, the American team launched the VF-17 online ahead of pre-season testing.
The name VF refers to Haas’s first CNC machine that was manufactured by the team’s title sponsor, Haas Automation in 1988.
Yesterday images of the new car were leaked after the team did what has been described by new driver Kevin Magnussen as “filming and doing some interviews and some adverts”. The photos were snapped in the Barcelona pitlane, where staff from rival teams were setting up for their running.
Images of the car show the team has gone for a grey, red and black livery, with a jagged effect paint scheme on the engine cover’s shark fin engine cover. The colours are slightly different from last year with a grey livery with red, black, white and light grey.
The livery came from there automation sponsorship.
Haas’s founder and chairman Gene Haas said “Being a Formula One participant brings a level of credibility that you just won’t get through traditional advertising. People are kind of ‘show me’ people, like show me what you can do and then I’ll believe in you.”
“Bigger, Better, Faster, Lighter is what we strive for in the machining industry and it’s what we strive for in motorsports. People see what we can do in Formula One, and people believe Haas Automation can build world-class machine tools.”
Formula One Vault’s analyst Jason Fluhrer spoke earlier about his expectations this week.
“I’m expecting Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes to be competitive I also expect that Renault and McLaren will step up.”
Renault and Haas hit the track
Renault and Haas have completed their first runs in their 2017 cars at the Circuit de Barcelona –Catalunya. Only Renault released footage and images of its RS17, which was launched in London on Tuesday.
The French team had been due to run their car on Friday, but rain forced them to abandon the running. Jolyon Palmer completed the first runs for the team, rather than new signing Nico Hulkenberg being at the wheel for the new car’s first laps.
Palmer told Motorsport.com “That was really fun, loads of downforce, loads of grip, a few laps, no hiccups and a big smile on my face.”
McLaren has carried out a shakedown test during a filming day at the Circuit de Barcelona –Catalunya. The car which was launched on Friday was driven by Fernando Alonso.
McLaren also gave a proper look at the MCL32 in action, the first time the striking orange and black livery on circuit. The tweet referenced the shark fin, a characteristic of the 2017 cars, and McLaren’s radical front wing design.
McLaren is the eighth team whose 2017 car has taken to the track.
Petronas adds extra performance
Mercedes are hoping that new fuel from their supplier Petronas will boost the performance of their car. Over the past few month, the Malaysian company have been developing new fuel, which has been given the go ahead.
The Primax fuel and new Syntium lubricants will be evaluated at Barcelona testing this week. With this year’s regulation changes, it is expected that fuel and lubricants will be more important because of increased drag of the cars, but reliability will be at a premium because teams are restricted to four engines for the campaign.
Mercedes have heavily revised engine this season, which has already been labelled as delivering an ‘unprecedented’ step forward in performance. Petronas motorsport boss says the change is to improve energy deployment because if a car ran out of electric boost early on straights would be at a big disadvantage.
Andrea Dolfi said “The new power unit will seek better performance by moving the limits in terms of duration of energy conversion. For this reason, the Petronas Primax new fuel and Petronas Syntium engine oil were reformulated to meet the demands of the Mercedes engineers.”
When asked if the gains could be worth three-tenths, that was estimated when the hybrid were introduced in 2014, Dolfi said: “The value in performance is significant. I can’t say more because the data is sensitive, but we are satisfied with the work that has been done
There will be full coverage from Formula One Vault throughout the week. You can read our preview here; F1 Today will be back Friday, as Notebook replaces this on track days.