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NEW F1 CARS ON SHOW

As we come closer to the Formula 1 season the first of this year’s racers have been revealed with Renault, Sauber and Force India showing off their 2017 contenders.

First to reveal their 2017 car were Sauber, who are celebrating their 25th season of Grand Prix racing. The Sauber C36-Ferrari is a brand new car, as per the 2017 regulations, the new era also marks the return of German Jorg Zander to the team as Technical Director, after a previous stint as Chief Designer when the team was under the BMW Sauber F1 Team guise in 2006-07.

Zander explains the advantages of the new rules.

“The cars are becoming wider again, from 1.80 to 2 metres,” explained Zander, the tyres are 25 % wider, the front and rear wings are becoming wider as well, plus the diffuser is being enlarged. In total, this means more downforce, more grip and, as a result, faster lap times.”

“We put greater emphasis on aerodynamic stability as opposed to maximising downforce.”

Initially the team will use an older Ferrari engine as used last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before upgrading during the year.

Sauber C36-Ferrari is also the first car to be unveiled under new owners, Longbow Finance S.A.

Marcus Ericsson will once again drive for the team, while Pascal Wehrlein joins the team from Marussia.

Renault has revealed the R.S 17 in London with drivers Nico Hulkenberg, Jolyon Palmer and Reserve Driver Sergey Sirotkin.

The car is powered by the R.E. 17 power unit and is the first F1 car designed by from scratch by Renault Sport Racing in Enstone in England and Viry-Chatillon in France.

President of Renault Sport Racing, Jerome Stroll, is proud to see the new car of which is the first joint venture between the two Renault Sport Racing design teams.

“The R.S.17 is the first car which Enstone and Viry have been able to plan and develop from the outset and we’re satisfied by the fruits of this interaction,” Stroll enthused, “It’s a beautiful car.”

“For 2017 our performance targets are clear. We want to take a definite, tangible step forward in performance and results. Fifth position in the Constructors’ Championship is our goal.”

Renault Sport Racing Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul added.

“For 2017 we are perfectly placed to take the step forward we all desire. The R.S.17 is the result of many long working hours spent over our two integrated locations and the result is a car we can be proud of.”

“We are the fastest growing F1 team and we now need to prove our performance on track. Our objective is to score points at every round.”

The VJM10 will carry the hopes of Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, with the pair revealing the car at Silverstone.

Though the car is new the same principles in aerodyanamics that were used in previous designs have been utilised in the design of the VJM10, Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer explains.

“This year the cars are completely new and nothing can be carried over from previous years,” explained Szafnauer. “Although we have completely new aerodynamics on the VJM10, it’s fair to say that our aero philosophy is very similar to 2015 and 2016.”

Technical Director, Andrew Green said though building a car to the new regulations has been a challenge, the team has enjoyed it and expect a big season of development.

“It’s definitely a big overhaul; one that requires a change in mentality,” Green explained. “It took a bit of time to adjust at first, but we are there now and I am confident we know where to look and where the performance is coming from with this car. The development slope is incredibly steep and we are going to see significant updates to the cars at regular intervals, right from the start; it’s going to be big updates and I don’t think development will start to taper off any time soon.”

Team Manager, Dr. Vijay Mallya is not keen to set goals ahead of the season, but replicating last year’s fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship will be a big assignment.

“Simply repeating our performance level of 2016 will be a big task in itself. I don’t want to set goals or targets other than to say that we intend to maintain the momentum we have built up in recent years and carry it into the new season. There are too many unknowns to say more than this.”