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THE FINAL F1 REVEALS

Another influx of Formula 1 teams launched over the weekend. Here is a round up.

FERRARI

Ferrari has launched its 2017 challenger, the SF70H at Ferrari’s own Fiorano test track in Italy. The new Ferrari features a lengthened nose and arrow-shaped front wing. An interesting addition is the ‘shark fin’ on the engine cover, similar to Force India. The side pods have been redesigned to harmonise with the front crash structure, while the power-steering and brake systems have been upgraded to match the expected increase in performance this year.

McLAREN

McLaren has unveiled a new paint scheme inspired by the team’s 1960s roots. The orange, black and silver livery is not the only thing to change at McLaren as Zac Brown replaces long time team boss Ron Dennis, Stoffel Vandoorne replaces Jenson Button as teammate to Fernando Alonso. The MCL32 features Honda’s latest RA617H engine. The car also features a ‘shark fin’ and Brown is hopeful the MCL32 will lead McLaren back to the front.
“McLaren has always been the team in Formula 1 for me,” said Brown. “I’m massively motivated to be able to help re-establish the team where I firmly believe it belongs: at the very pinnacle of Formula 1.”
Debutant Vandoorne is impressed by the new car.
“As for the car itself, it looks great. There are so many beautiful little details – the gills on the nose hangers, the bargeboards, the front wing – it all looks incredibly well finished and thoroughly thought-out.”
While Alonso added that he is confident that the new regulations will play into Mclaren’s hands.
“I think there’s a lot to admire about what we’ve achieved over the past 12 months,” an excited Alonso said.
“Sure, the results haven’t really showcased it, but we’ve really made progress, and I think the whole team has gelled together through those difficult times. Now, at a moment of significant regulatory change, we need to capitalise on that period of uncertainty to push forwards – and I’m confident that we’ve got the expertise to do just that.”

MERCEDES

The W08 EQ Power+ will carry the Mercedes hopes for back-to-back titles in 2017. The W08 EQ Power+ has only 17% of its parts that have carried over from its predecessor with the teams focus on optimising the car within the new aerodynamic regulations and also improving the cars structural strength due to the expected increase in aerodynamic and mechanical loads.

RED BULL

The Red Bull that will hopefully take Daniel Ricciardo to the title, the RB13, has been revealed. The RB13 also features a ‘shark fin’ engine cover as well as an adjusted aerodynamics package designed by a team led by Adrian Newey. Ricciardo is nervous on how the new car may go but is looking forward to the start of the season.
“My first impression is that it looks quite beautiful, and definitely looks sleek,” said Ricciardo.
“These cars look like the fastest cars in the world. That’s the impression I get.
“We’ve really set ourselves up well to continue on the trend that we had in 2016. We’re looking strong, we’re looking good.
“Everyone is definitely in the right mindset right now and that hunger is back.
“Getting into the car next week, is kind of an anxious time, because you are like ‘I really hope this car is quick’ and you kind of know, you feel it after a few laps.”

TORO ROSSO

Along with sister team Red Bull; Toro Rosso has revealed the STR12, featuring Renault power. The car that drivers Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kyvat will drive in this year’s World Championship has no carry over from the previous year’s model with Technical Director James Key describing the new regulations as the biggest change since he started in 1998.
“In my 20 years in F1 it’s the biggest chassis change I can remember,” explains Key. “In ’98 the narrow track had just arrived and there were various tweaks up to 2009, when a larger change occurred, but other than the front wing it was still based around principles that we knew. These rules however, include a track change, significantly different tyres and a new aero regulation as well. From a chassis point of view it’s all encompassing with a lot of new things to learn.”
While Head of Aerodynamics, Brendan Gilhome, enjoyed the freedom provided by the new regulations.
“The front half (of the car) is completely new, with a swept front wing and a lot more freedom around the front of the floor, which means you can generate more downforce,” said Gilhome. “There is also more freedom at the rear: you have a wider floor, a higher diffuser, the diffuser starts earlier and the rear wing is wider and lower.
“There is a lot more opportunity to explore different ideas and explore concepts that you hadn’t been allowed in the past.”

WILLIAMS

Williams will compete in its 40th year in the sport with the FW40. Williams has worked hard on adjusting to the new wider tyre package and has worked hard on constructing a car that can handle the increased downforce, mechanical grip and G-Forces that the extra grip will provide, but the core of the car has been carried over such as the power unit and the surrounding areas. Felipe Massa will drive the FW40 in tonight’s test and will be mentor and teammate to young Lance Stroll.

HAAS

The VF-17 carries the HAAS F1 Team into its second season and the new regulations have seen a number of changes to the aerodynamics with a lower and wider rear wing, a wider front wing, larger barge boards and a diffuser that expands by 50mm.
“I think the pedal box is the same, but all the rest is very different from last year’s car,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “You always try to make a faster car, which is normally a lighter car. Now we can put on more ballast and get better weight distribution. The aero is completely new, as are the tires, so we needed to have some built-in adjustability.
“Aesthetically, the car has a more aggressive look. It’s lighter and more aerodynamically efficient. Everything we learned from our first car has been applied to our new car.”
The car features the same colours as the previous model as it links the F1 team with team sponsor, HAAS Automation.