Sunday, February 3, 2013


What a week this has been. 5 formula one teams launched their cars this week, you know what they say - When it rains, it pours. One day you're bubbling from the mouth on the floor with not much F1 news or stories to keep you barely alive, the next you're bleeding at the eyes trying to keep up with the flood.

But as F1 fanatics, we love it and just can't have enough. It's like chocolate or cheese - you can never have enough. So, the teams that launched this week were McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus, Sauber and Force India. Mercedes will launch on Monday at Jerez although their online PR stunt to create buzz for the W04 crashed their servers. Not a good omen, someone online posted that maybe their car should be called the "W404". Good one. Their online reveal can be found at

As we all know no F1 team will reveal the exact car that will be having the exact parts they will use in the test so these pictures here will be nice to look at and give a glimpse of changes but will not be the exact specification car at the first test nor the first race.


McLaren launched its 2013 F1 challenger and kicked off a year of 50th anniversary celebrations with a spectacular parade of classic racing cars at the McLaren Technology Centre near Woking. The parade brought to life a string of race- and championship-winning McLarens from across the decades and culminated in the arrival of the team's 2013 race drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio 'Checo' Perez, who had the honours of taking the wraps off the new MP4-28.

The new car is visually similar to last year's MP4-27 and retains the same high nose without a step, but Jenson Button commented that "under the skin this is so, so different." Also noticeable on the car was a pull-rod front suspension similar to the system employed by Ferrari last season.

However, managing director Jonathan Neale said the team is planning significant upgrades ahead of the start of the season with the first package set to be bolted on at the second test.
"We know already that it's not the fastest car we can make," Neale said at the launch. "The car that we take to Barcelona is a good step forwards and there is still plenty of time for us to invent things both in design and aerodynamics to take to Australia. On the one hand we are trying to bring up the assets and the spares, but on the other hand we are trying to upgrade it. But we just have to be consistent."
The MP4-28 looks as good as last year's car and according to McLaren is faster as well, so this will be very interesting at the first test.

For a launch technical analysis of the MP4-28, click here.


McLaren's closest rival for years, Ferrari revealed their car shortly after McLaren. Ferrari’s hopes now rest on its new 'F138' race car, which was unveiled at a ceremony at the team’s headquarters in Maranello, Italy. The “13” in the name signifies the year and the “8” signifies the number of cylinders that make up the car’s engine. Ferrari saw this as appropriate as 2013 marks the end of the V-8 engine design in F1, with next year’s season switching to smaller, turbocharged V-6 engines.

Ferrari’s F138 looks very similar to its outgoing F2012. That’s because the regulations haven’t changed much for 2013. One noticeable difference is the flat nose of the latest race car instead of the stepped nose we saw last year. Other changes include new side pods and a new front diffuser.

According to Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali, the F138 is ‘an evolution’ of last year’s F2012 chassis, and features a raised front nose section, removing the stepped nose that could be seen on its predecessor. Luca di Montezemolo, the President had this to say: “yesterday afternoon, I saw it and I defined it as “hopeful,” because I noted plenty of attention to detail, especially in areas where aerodynamics are key.

For a launch technical analysis of the F138, click here.


Force India launched the VJM06 at Silverstone following on from Ferrari. Force India has opted for a complete redesign of its car for the 2013 Formula 1 season, according to technical director Andrew Green.

While the team enjoyed a strong run-in to its 2012 campaign, scoring points in the last eight straight races and leading 30 laps of the Brazilian finale, Green said increasingly marginal performance gains had prompted a complete redesign over the winter.
"It's a new car, we didn't hold back. Performance gains are getting harder and harder to find given the regulations stability, so we couldn't hold back. We had to redesign basically everything to maximise the potential of the car. The time we took to understand the car at the end of the year actually helped us tremendously with the design of this one."

For a launch technical analysis of the VJM06, click here.


Lotus was the first team to unveil their 2013 car after the wraps came off the Renault-powered E21 in an online launch ceremony broadcast from the team’s UK factory.

With the new machine Lotus aim to build on their successful 2012 campaign, which saw Kimi Raikkonen win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix en route to the team finishing fourth in the constructors’ championship. Raikkonen will again partner Romain Grosjean in 2013.

With only limited changes to the technical and sporting regulations from 2012, the E21 continues the design concepts seen in its predecessor, the E20. However, Lotus say it is pushing last year’s concepts even further as well as incorporating some innovative technical solutions. The new car also features a slightly tweaked livery, incorporating an extra touch of red.

The black, red and gold Lotus E21 decided to remain defiantly immodest, retaining the distinctive step nose of its race-winning predecessor from 2012, although the team did not rule out a future makeover. Lotus technical director, James Allison had this to say:
"There's some neat new ideas in there and a lot of pushing of the same sort of concepts as we've been working on for a few years. The E20 proved itself to be an effective racing car - particularly towards the end of last season - so there is an element of expectation from the E21 and plenty to build upon.”
Allison continued by saying that while the car looked similar to last year's, as ever in F1 the devil was in the detail and "the detail of this car adds up to a significant amount of performance."

For a launch technical analysis of the E21, click here.


Sauber has become the latest team to launch its 2013 car, unveiling the C32 at its factory in Hinwil, Switzerland. It is the first car to be launched under the sole leadership of Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn.

The two most notable changes have been made on the nose and sidepods of the C32. Sauber, like many others, has opted to make use of the 'vanity panel' to cover up the unpopular nose step. But while McLaren and Ferrari have chosen to use the cosmetic faring, Sauber have what chief designer Matt Morris described as "something in between". The top of the nose still has a step in it but not across its whole width - the sides of the top of the nose feature ridges which mean the step is not visible from side-on.

Meanwhile, the sidepods have been streamlined to extract further performance, a trend which has been seen at previous launches this year. In addition to the design differences from its C31 predecessor, the new Sauber features a heavily-revised livery. The paint job is now predominantly made up of grey, with splashes of red and white to reflect the team's traditional colours.

Explained Matt Morris, Sauber’s chief designer :
“The C31 was an extremely competitive car with many strengths. Our aim was to further improve these strengths and eliminate its few weaknesses. Over the course of last season we invested a lot of time and energy in developing a better understanding of our car. To this end, we focused primarily on the aerodynamic effects around the rear of the car. Our aero experts have done some great work in this respect, the basis of which has been used to develop the C32.”
Sauber finished on the podium four times last year, their best ever record, but were sixth in the constructors' championship. Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said she hoped the line-up of German Nico Hulkenberg and novice Mexican Esteban Gutierrez would improve on that.

For a launch technical analysis of the C32, click here.


Red Bull has launched its 2013 car, the RB9, at its base in Milton Keynes.

The latest Adrian Newey-designed car features a stepped nose like last year's car but without the driver cooling slot, as well as a tightly packaged rear end. Newey said the car does have a vanity panel - a thin carbon fibre fairing that other teams have used to disguise the step (not much of hiding as it can still be seen as a step) - but that "it doesn't extend too far forward as then it doesn't justify it in weight".

The RB9 features a slightly tweaked colour scheme with purple sidepods to promote new title sponsor Infiniti. The Japanese car brand has upped its involvement with the team this year and occupies other sponsorship space on the nose, in front of the cockpit and on the rear wing.

Not much technical details were available as Red Bull is known to be super secretive about their car. Adrian Newey said it wasn't as if his team was being any more secretive than its peers.
"The other teams have only made limited-view pictures available - rather like we're presenting today. It's easy to make big styling or feature changes, but whether that really brings much lap time benefit or not is another matter. Often it's the small details that aren't very clear to a faraway camera that are most significant." 
And those details have to be spotted in the pitlanes of tests or grands prix. They certainly weren't going to be flaunted to the world at this launch. For a launch technical analysis of the RB9, click here.


Nico Rosberg put in the first laps in the new Mercedes W04 just hours ahead of the car's official launch. The German driver, who is entering his fourth season with Mercedes, was in action at the Jerez circuit for promotional work. Starting early this morning, Rosberg climbed into his W04 and begun putting in laps.

However, as testing only begins at the track on Tuesday, the laps were more like tours of the track than flat-out efforts. As for the car, the most notable change to the W04 from last year's car is that it features the vanity panel adopted by McLaren, Ferrari and Sauber.

Mercedes Formula 1 boss Ross Brawn says the new W04 car has a number of significant innovative concepts despite its similarities with last year's version. Although the W04 design looks similar to its predecessor, Brawn hinted as some hidden innovations.
"There are a number of concepts we have looked at, and no doubt when you see all the new cars you revisit some of the concepts, but this car has taken a good step forward in terms of aerodynamic performance. I think there are some innovative things on the car and you probably need to look a bit deeper to see them. We are comfortable with the designs and solutions we have come up with; but we will see the first signs in the next few weeks and certainly at Melbourne. That will be the real test of everyone's concepts and innovations - and that will be the true test."
For a launch technical analysis of the W04, click here.


On the eve of the first pre-season test in Spain, Toro Rosso have launched the car with which they will contest the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship. The Italian team’s unchanged driver line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Verge took the wraps off the Ferrari-powered STR8 - the eighth car produced by Toro Rosso - in the Jerez pit lane on Monday afternoon.

The STR8 is the first car to be designed by Toro Rosso’s strengthened technical team led by chief designer Luca Furbatto, who joined the company just over a year ago, while the whole project has been overseen by James Key, the team’s technical director since last September.

Interestingly the team have opted not to follow the example of sister-team Red Bull Racing and have fitted a vanity plate to the nose of the car. The STR8 chassis has retained the heavily undercut sidepods that were featured on both the STR7 and STR6 designs, while a McLaren-style exhaust has been adopted.

Despite testing ahead of the 2013 season not even having started, Team Principal Franz Tost hinted at the launch that the team were already looking ahead to 2014.
"Formula 1 is approaching a new era, specifically in 2014 and at Toro Rosso, we have already made significant changes to our structure both in terms of manpower and facilities to be ready for that. We believe the changes made will also help in the short term for this coming season and combined with the fact that Daniel and Jean-Eric are more experienced, now that they have a season with us under their belts, we start winter testing in a mood of justified optimism."
For a launch technical analysis of the STR8, click here.


Caterham Formula One team's 2013 car was unveiled in the pitlane of the Circuito de Jerez on day one of the first pre-season test. The CT 03 was revealed by the team's drivers Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde. The car has technical features that distinguish it from its predecessor, CT01, and it will race in an updated livery which sees the team's green and yellow paint-scheme refreshed and lightened for the season ahead.

Technical Director Mark Smith explaining that there have been 'significant changes' to the CT03 said:
"We have made a number of significant changes to the car that takes it from the package that gained us tenth place in the championship in Brazil in 2012 into the CT03," Smith explained on Tuesday morning. "Among the most obvious are around the lower chassis where the sidepods have been significantly undercut to improve airflow to the rear of the car.
The diffuser, engine cover and cooling exits have also seen major changes and there are more subtle improvements such as the sidepod turning vanes and the lower tea-tray area. This is the package we will take to race one in Australia and as part of the 2013 upgrade program we will then bring new front and rear wings and a new diffuser soon after the start of the season."
Marussia revealed their 2013 challenger, the Cosworth-powered MR02, to the media on Tuesday morning, at the start of the opening day of pre-season testing in Jerez, Spain. The Russian-owned team say the car is a comprehensive evolution of its predecessor. The biggest change on the car comes from the fact that it will feature KERS for the first time in a move that takes the Marussia squad in-line with the rest of the field

Unlike the MR01, which was conceived solely using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) technology, the MR02’s design philosophy has also employed wind-tunnel development, as part of Marussia’s technical partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies.

Team boss John Booth said:
“Whilst we have experienced some changes over the winter, the one area of stability we have enjoyed is the one that is most important to our progression from here, the design of our 2013 race car, led by our Technical Director Pat Symonds.

The incremental steps we were taking in the latter half of last season gave us the confidence to not only fight hard for tenth place in the Constructors' Championship, but to feel encouraged by our overall design direction, which was the basis for the car we are fielding here in Jerez today.”
For a launch technical analysis of the MR02, click here.

The first of the pre-season tests have started and day 1 is done and dusted with McLaren leading the pack, 0.8 seconds clear of Red Bull. Still early days, we still have a few days to go to see how the cars stack up against each other. This first test should show some of the strength and weaknesses the teams have. And which will decide how much work there is to be done before the first race.

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1 comment:

Ronnie campbell said...

2013 is new year and we can expect that, there are so many companies are waiting to launch their new cars in the market. Above given sports car are looking fabulous and i am sure that it will rocks on racing track.

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