Williams FW35 Unveiled in Barcelona (incl Video)

Williams FW35

Williams FW35 2013 F1 car

The Williams FW35 2013 challenger was unveiled by the team outside its garages in the Barcelona pit lane at just after 07.30 CET and is the final 2013 specification F1 car to break cover.

Today at Barcelona (Circuit de Catalunya) the opening day of the second F1 Pre Season test the new FW35 will be driven by Pastor Maldonado. the teams second driver Valtteri Bottas will get his chance tomorrow.

The new Williams FW35 has a high front nose with no step and in side profile is very similar visually to the Ferrari F138.

The FW 35 performed well on its first outing on the opening day of the second F1 Test of the season at Barcelona in the hands of Pastor Maldonado. Maldonado spent a considerable time as fastest driver with the new car, eventually completing 73 laps and ending the day 6th fastest.

Williams FW35 Video released by the team

More images of the FW35 (All images courtesy Williams F1 Team)
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Despite being an evolution of last years car the new FW35 is more than 80% new. According to Williams F1 Technical Director Mike Coughlan the car is more refined than the FW34. The car sports new gearbox, rear suspension, radiators, a new floor, new exhausts, new bodywork, and a new nose. In addition to all the refinements the team has also managed to save a significant amount of weight.

A great deal of work has been carried out over the winter to ensure that the new parts are reliable with the gearbox alone having completed 3,200 kms on the dyno. Much of this was conducted in the form of five straight simulated Grand Prix Weekends.

The team stressed that today’s unveiling was only the beginning, with an aero upgrade already planned to be in place in time for the Australian GP, and they confirmed that they will be working closely with Renault on the ‘Coanda’ effect as there has been no rule clarification on this area of the car.

F1 Caterham CT03 unveiled at Jerez 2013 – Video and photos


Caterham CT03 2013 F1 challenger unveiled at Jerez minutes before the season opening Formula 1 test.

The new Caterham CT03 was unveiled by its new driver pairing of Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde. The familiar green and yellow livery of the car remains although it has been  refreshed and lightened for the new season. The new CT03 does still feature a stepped nose design.

As has been a familiar pattern with other F1 teams so far Caterham F1 has described the new car as an evolutionary design rather than a complete redesign allowing the team to focus on areas of improvement that will deliver the biggest return while allowing them to also focus on the sweeping regulation changes coming in 2014.

Key changes from last year’s car are in the side pod area around the lower chassis at the rear where undercutting has improved airflow to the rear of the car. there have also been major changes to the diffuser, engine cover and cooling exits and other more subtle improvements to other areas of the car.

Tony Fernandes Co-Chairman Caterham Group commented “For me this is going to be the story of the 2013 season – every team wants to be as competitive as possible this year, but with such fundamental rule changes next year resources and budgets dictate that there will have to be a cut-off point in the development of the current season cars so focus can be switched to 2014. We will bring updates to the car after several races and I am happy that the plan we have for 2013 will give us the chance to fight this year, but, importantly, will allow us to take full advantage of the new rules in 2014.”
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All images and video courtesy and © Caterham F1 Team

Marussia F1 Team unveils MR02 as 2013 testing gets underway in Jerez

The Marussia F1 Team was up bright and early at Jerez today to unveil the new 2013 specification car designated MR02. The new car was unveiled at 08.15 CET and looks to be a pleasantly clean design with only the slightest hint of a step in its nose section and resplendent in its familiar red, white and black livery.

According to the team website the new car represents a comprehensive evolution of the 2012 car and was developed using a CFD complementing wind tunnel approach, contrasting with last years MR01 which used an all CFD approach.

New to the package for this season and key to the design evolution is a Williams designed KERS system the integration of which has resulted in a very busy time for the designers as they worked on reducing the overall weight of the chassis, maintaining stiffness as well as ensuring that the new car met the requirements of the FIA mandatory crash tests.

The MR02 continues to use the Cosworth engine and XTRAC transmission. The team has also benefited from a partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies in particular with respect to wind tunnel and simulator developments.

As has been mentioned by other teams another critical area of focus has centred around the new Pirelli P Zero tyres requiring a high degree of diligence in the transition from wind tunnel model to full size car.

The aerodynamic design has centred around enhanced cooling efficiency and the improvement of the airflow over the rear of the car which is clearly evident in the new side pod design solution and exhaust configuration. There are further major aero updates in the pipeline and these will be added to the car in time for the final pre-season test.

2013 will be a critical year for Marussia with the team yet to announce its second driver and having lost the experienced Timo Glock it must surely be looking for another experienced driver to partner with F1 rookie Max Chilton.

Scuderia Toro Rosso unveils STR8 in Pitlane at Jerez

Scuderia Toro Rosso’s 2013 challenger the STR8 was unveiled in the pitlane at Jerez this afternoon. The new car retains its familiar Red Bull livery however unlike its Red Bull Racing RB9 cousin it does not feature a stepped nose design.

Team Principal Franz Tost opened the proceedings with drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne. Toro Rosso are the eighth team to unveil their new creation and will be followed tomorrow by Caterham and Marussia. Williams will launch their new car, the FW35 in Barcelona.

Mercedes AMG F1 W04 unveiled by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at Jerez

rosberg_firstdrive600300The new Mercedes AMG F1 2013 Challenger designated F1 W04 has been officially unveiled on the track at Jerez. The new car was unveiled by its driver pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg after they arrived alongside the car each driving a white Gullwing Mercedes road car.

The F1 W04 looked extremely sleek and aerodynamically refined as the drivers posed for media images sitting on the front and back wheels holding their 2013 helmets.

The two drivers then had their photographs taken with a pit board announcing ‘Mercedes AMG welcomes Blackberry’. The team announced the new partnership earlier as Nico Rosberg took to the track for a few demonstration laps in the new car stating that the team is delighted to announce a significant new partnership agreement with BlackBerry as the Official Mobile Computing Partner for the MERCEDES AMG. Excerpt from the press release - As the Official Mobile Computing Partner for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team, BlackBerry will collaborate with the team on technical and marketing opportunities. The new BlackBerry 10 platform will deliver tools and services for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS and fan engagement will be improved through the joint development of apps. BlackBerry 10 smartphones will also be used by the team so they can ´keep moving´ throughout the Formula One season.

The new partnership sees the iconic BlackBerry branding featured prominently on the chassis and headrest of the F1 W04 Silver Arrow, the racesuits of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, and on the team´s racewear kit.

Lewis Hamilton will get his first impression of the new car from a drivers perspective when he completes a few demonstration laps this afternoon.

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All images © and Courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Red Bull Racing F1 Team launches RB9

Red Bull Racing today unveiled the sixth new F1 car to be see this week, the eagerly awaited RB9. The car was unveiled at the team’s Milton Keynes base in front of an audience comprising team members, partners, international media and competition winners but atypically for this season so far no live viewing on the web for fans at large. This was a strange and no doubt unpopular decision by Red Bull a team that prides itself on marketing and the involvement of its supporters.

Anyway on to the event and the car was unveiled by longstanding driver pairing Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. The RB9 was resplendent in a purplish blue hue and still featured a stepped nose. Technical Director Adrian Newey described the new car as an evolutionary design in line with other launches this week and again cited the stability of the regulations as the key factor in this decision. The RB9 was described as the final instalment in a generation of designs that has so far delivered 34 Grand Prix wins and six World Championships.

Newey said that the team had been extremely busy and paid tribuute to the team’s hard work over the winter following an intense championship battle in 2012 in which they had to focus on both the development of last years car while also doing research on the upcoming RB9. This issue is certain to resurface in 2013 with a much bigger impact given the sweeping changes in the regulations for 2014.

Again in line with comments from other teams, Newey quoted the new Pirelli tyres as the most significant change since last year and said that although the teams were given some visibility of the new rubber in practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix weather conditions at the time meant that they didn’t learn a lot. He went on to say that Pirelli has supplied data about how the new tyres behave but that past experience dictates that it’s only when testing begins that the team will really find out.

Tonight sees the team depart for Jerez and the first F1 test session of the new season where Mark Webber will give the RB9 its first track outing on Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th of February with Sebastian Vettel taking over on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th.

Sauber F1 Team launches 2013 spec C32-Ferrari car at Hinwil and live on the internet

c32_side_600_300The Sauber F1 team today launched its 2013 specification car designated the C32 powered by a Ferrari engine at its base in Hinwil, Switzerland and live on the internet at its own website and on YouTube.

The new car has a striking dark colour scheme and looks pleasantly sleek in its appearance. Unlike the other F1 cars launched this week the new Sauber seems to have a hybrid stepped nose design. That is, it has a stepped nose however it is not visible when viewed from the side as there are small raised fairings each side of the step meaning it is far less prominent and consequently more appealing to the eye..

As well as the nose section the car is noticeably slimmer around the sidepod area and at the back of the car, more so than its competitors designs. According to chief designer Matt Morris the airflow over this area dictated the design layout resulting in a radiator configuration that is very different to last years C31. As with last years car the engine, gearbox and KERS system are all supplied by Ferrari. The KERS system is last years design but has been optimised for packaging volume and weight. The rear axle is a totally new development and has been designed to better interact with the airflow around the rear of the car while further improving the management of the tyres.

The C32 was unveiled by the team’s new driver pairing of Nico Hulkenberg now going into his third season of F1 and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez who finished third in last year’s GP2 championship.

According to team principal Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber now has a strong platform in place on which to build and continue its upward curve. The team improved last year by scoring 126 points compared to the 44 points scored in 2011.

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All images courtesy Sauber Motorsport AG

Ferrari unveils F138 in Maranello

Scuderia Ferrari today unveiled the new F138 in Maranello. The team is hoping that the new car will be fast out of the blocks this season as last years slow start potentially cost Fernando Alonso the World Drivers Championship.

Ferrari’s 59th car in the F1 series derives its name from the year and the number of engine cylinders to mark the fact that this is the 8th and final year of the V8 Formula 1 engine. Ferrari has two active design teams at the moment, one responsible for the F138 and the other working towards the 2014 season and the introduction of a host of new regulations including a V6 turbocharged 1.6 litre engine. The F138′s design is evolutionary as the regulations are relatively unchanged from last year although according to Ferrari every single part of the new car has been revised to maximise performance whilst maintaining the extraordinary reliability of last years cars.

Like the McLaren MP4-28 and Force India VJM06 Ferrari has opted to use a vanity panel to obscure the stepped nose seen on last years car.

The design philosophy of the suspension has not changed but it has been refined to gain as much aerodynamic advantage as possible. The bodywork has been redesigned to accommodate changes to the exhaust layout as has the air intake mounted above the cockpit and the intakes to the sidepods again to aid aerodynamic efficiency.

As with the rest of the car the engine has been evolved and refined with the principle aim of maximising the performance throughout the life of the unit which has now reached an average of three races.

On the electronics side a key step is that the single control unit to be introduced for 2014 has been incorporated into the design ahead of schedule entailing a lot of work on both hardware and software to integrate and control all of its features.

Sahara Force India F1 Team launches VJM06 at Silverstone

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Sahara Force India F1 Team today launched its 2013 F1 challenger designated the VJM06 at a chilly Silverstone circuit. The new car does not feature the stepped nose so unpopular on last years cars. The VJM06 was given a single shakedown lap of the circuit after the unveiling ceremony driven by Paul Di Resta. Force India has yet to name its second driver and when pressed for details today inferred that it was unlikely an announcement would be made until the Barcelona F1 test.

Technical Director Andrew Green spoke about the new car and indicated that developments were halted from just after mid season last year to introduce stability to the platform and to enable the team to refine the car and really dial it in. He said “We focussed on trying to understand what the car was doing, where it differed from our models and, importantly how we worked the tyres. We used that extra knowledge for this years car and it helped quite a lot”.

He went on to explain that although the new car is a ground up redesign it is evolutionary rather than revolutionary and this is in part due to the stability of the regulations. On the subject of the new nose complete with fairing to hide last years “step” he said it was neutral in terms of performance but did tidy up the airflow over the top of the chassis.

Regarding winter testing Green indicated that the changes to the Pirelli tyres would present a big challenge and provide the main area of focus for the team to try to understand them before the season starts in Australia. He did say though that the suspension of the new car has been tuned for what was learned on the tyres last year so is configured differently with the changes aimed at better complementing them. He also said that the rear suspension is quite different  and that for aerodynamic reasons the whole thing has been lifted up to allow the airflow under the lower rear wishbones.

In a team press release Dr Vijay Mallya confirmed that the team is looking for land to build a state of the art wind tunnel and that greater CFD capacity for 2013 was already in place. He said the team was targetting podiums this year and that its first objective was to hit the ground running and have a strong start to the season, something that’s been a weakness for the last couple of years. On the teams second driver he said “We had a shortlist and have considered every driver who is available. We are very close to making our decision and I can assure you that we will arrive in Australia with one of the most exciting pairings on the grid”

There was good news from the team on the commercial front with two new partnerships announced, the first with TW Steel Watches now official timing partner to the team and secondly with Chatham Marine the UK’s leading boat shoes manufacturer. Both partnerships will lead to branded items from the team with TW Steel scheduled to produce  an official team watch range for retail worldwide and Chatham to produce a Sahara Force India branded shoe specially designed for the global retail market.

A selection of photos from the Silverstone launch can be seen below, including a few of last years car for comparison purposes.

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The shots below are of last years car with the stepped nose.SFI_4857old SFI_4864old SFI_4865old

McLaren MP4-28 Photos from todays launch at the MTC

Following the launch today of the new McLaren F1 Team 2013 Challenger designated the MP4-28 the team has released some images of the event, a selection of which you can see below. There is also a pic of Jenson Button arriving in the McLaren road car designated the P1. The new F1 car is similar in appearance to its predecessor but we are reliably told it’s very different under the skin. What’s your first impression?

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mp4_28_6_600400All images courtesy McLaren.