Williams unveils the FW35 on the eve of second pre-season testing

Williams FW35 angle

After missing out the first pre-season test at Jerez, the Williams F1 Team finally unveil their 2013 challenger, the FW35, ahead of the second test at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Williams ran a modified version of last year’s car at the opening test having decided to continue with the development work on the FW35. The Jerez test still provided useful knowledge especially the new Pirelli tyres.

The FW35 retains the Renault engine for this season and features aggressive undercuts on its sidepods.

Williams FW35 side

“Given the rule stability over the winter,” said technical director Mike Coughlan, “I’m pleased with the gains that we’ve been able to make with this car.

“It’s a better, more refined Formula 1 car than the FW34 and I think everyone involved in the project can feel proud of the work they’ve done.”

Despite being an evolution on last year’s car, the FW35 is 80 per cent new, with a new gearbox, rear suspension, radiators, floor, exhausts, bodywork and nose.

Williams returned to the top step of the podium after seven win-less seasons when Pastor Maldonado won last year’s Spanish Grand Prix.

But inconsistent form meant this breakthrough was not reflected in the championship standings, with Williams only eighth in the constructors’ come the end of the 2012 season.

Maldonado stays on for 2013, with the highly-rated rookie Valtteri Bottas promoted from the reserve driver role as a replacement over Bruno Senna.

Check out the video below featuring the new Williams FW35:

Caterham CT03 makes an appearance at Jerez

CT03 2013 front

The Caterham CT03 made its first public appearance just in time for the start of pre-season testing at Jerez.

The CT03 will be powered by Renault engines and is an evolution of last season’s car.

Technical director Mark Smith said the car is “an evolution of CT01 rather than a complete re-design, allowing us to focus our resources on developing areas of last year’s package where opportunities would give us the greatest return, whilst also beginning work on the 2014 package”.

Smith added the CT03 would remain in the same configuration for the first race in Australia. New front and rear wings plus a new diffuser will be added “soon after the start of the season”.

CT03 2013 car

Among the changes to this season’s car are more deeply undercut sidepods. “The diffuser, engine cover and cooling exits have also seen major changes,” adds Smith, “and there are more subtle improvements to other areas of the car, such as the sidepod turning vanes and the lower tea-tray area”.

This is the first car the team have produced since the arrival of new team principal Cyril Abiteboul. “I am very pleased that we have been able to allocate our resources and budgets as efficiently as possible to produce a car that will allow us to consolidate our position in Formula 1 whilst also starting work on the 2014 car as early as possible,” he said.

“From the outside, the most obvious change to CT03 car is the livery. Whilst retaining the green and yellow paint scheme that has become synonymous with our team since 2010, we have refreshed both colours to enhance their visibility on track and give them what will be, we believe, one of the best looking liveries in the pit line.”

CT03 2013 side

The Leafield-based team are feeling optimistic in the upcoming Formula 1 World Championship and hopes to make steady progress towards the midfield.

Last season Caterham only just fended off rival Marussia for the lucrative tenth position in the constructors’ championship standings.

And having begun the Formula 1 life with a pair of Grand Prix winners in the hot seat with the shape of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli, financial realities have now forced the team towards less experienced drivers with financial backing.

Both former winners have left Caterham at the end of 2012, and so the line-up for this season will be ex-Marussia driver Charles Pic, who will be partnered by test driver Giedo van der Garde.

Marussia launches MR02 on opening day of pre-season testing

Marussia MR02

This is the new Marussia MR02 that will contest in this season’s Formula 1 World Championship. The new car was unveiled to the world’s press at the dawn of the first official day of pre-season testing at Jerez.

The MR02 is the first true product of the team’s revamped technical structure, following its mid-2011 decision to split with Wirth Research and the all-CFD philosophy.

The result means that the car has been developed in-house using the far more traditional method of a windtunnel. It is also their first car to feature the Kinetic Energy Recovery System.

Marussia hopes the MR02 will mark a step forward in terms of competitiveness as the team are still seeking for their first points finish.

MR02 side

“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,” said team principal John Booth.

“We are confident that the MR02 is the product of evolving elements of last year’s package whilst integrating the new KERS system.

“It was said many times during 2012 that, notwithstanding the impressive steps we were taking in other areas of our development, KERS – or the lack of it – was the defining factor in determining our position relative to our immediate competitors.

“KERS was however a ‘strategic omission’ from our package until now; we opted to place the emphasis on aerodynamics, so that when we were in a position to bring the system to the car, we already had the strongest possible basis and its integration would be relatively straightforward.

“Thus far, this has certainly been the case, as our trackside engineering team have spent the winter refining their tools and preparing for the addition of KERS to ensure we can hit the ground running with effect from this week and use the short period of testing we have to get the car optimised for Melbourne.”

MR02 front

Even before pre-season testing has begun, the team was forced to release lead driver Timo Glock for financial reasons.

GP2 graduate Max Chilton is the only driver signed so far, with fellow rookie Luiz Razia as the favourite to take the second race seat at Marussia.

The 2013 Silver Arrows

Hamilton Mercedes 2013

One of the most eagerly-anticipated Formula 1 race car has been unveiled at Jerez, on the eve of the first day of pre-season testing.

The Mercedes W04 had a brief shakedown run at the Spanish track ahead of its official launch to the world’s media.

With a new driver line-up in the shape of the 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton partnered with last season’s Chinese Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg, the team have high expectations for the upcoming Formula 1 World Championship.

Hamilton and Rosberg 2013

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said the new season “marks the start of a second era for our Silver Arrows works team”.

“The restructuring we undertook at the team over the past 18 months are now growing in maturity and this is reflected in the F1 W04, which is a clear step forward in design and detail sophistication over its predecessor.

“Many thousands of hours of work have been invested by our technical teams in Brackley and Brixworth to ensure that the new car delivers a step change in performance compared to last season.

“We are also hugely proud to welcome Lewis to the team as a works Mercedes-Benz driver. With Lewis and Nico, we have what I believe to be the strongest driver line-up in Formula One and I know that a healthy level of competition between them both will help drive the team forward.”

Mercedes W04 2013

The W04 has been optimised around a new five-element front wing and a second-generation Coanda exhaust. The Silver Arrows also retains the pushrod front suspension and a pullrod rear suspension.

Check the video below as Nico Rosberg drives the W04 for the first time:

Toro Rosso reveals the STR8

Toro Rosso STR8

On the eve of the first pre-season testing at Jerez, Scuderia Toro Rosso has reveals its 2013 Formula 1 car, the STR8, to the world’s press.

The Italian team finished in a distant ninth in last season’s constructors’ championship, although the outfit did finish the year strongly with six points finishes in the final nine events.

Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne have been retained for their second full seasons driving for the Red Bull junior team.

Toro Rosso STR8 drivers

The STR8 is the first car designed by the team’s new technical department heads James Key and Luca Furbatto.

“It’s very emotional,” said team boss Franz Tost. “The team has worked with a very high level of effort to come up with a great car and met the high expectations for this year. The goal is to finish sixth in the constructors’ championship.”

“Both drivers did a really good job last year, and I’m convinced if we supply them with a good car they’ll come up with surprise results.”

For the seventh successive year the Toro Rosso will be powered by Ferrari engines.

Red Bull Racing reveals the RB9

RB9 Vettel 2013

The championship-winning team Red Bull Racing unveiled its latest Formula 1 car, the RB9 at a launch in Milton Keynes.

Red Bull Racing took its third drivers’ and constructors’ championship last season, with Sebastian Vettel becoming the sport’s youngest ever triple champion after a close contest with Ferrari rival Fernando Alonso.

The RB9 will be powered by the Renault engine and it will be fascinating to see if the new car still has the edge over its rivals despite the restrictions in the sport’s regulations as technical director Adrian Newey acknowledges.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB9 Launch

“It is increasingly difficult because there are no real regulations changes compared to this year and it will be the fifth season since the 2009 rule changes,” Newey said.

“The field is converging and you can see how competitive it is in the fact that we had eight different winners this year.”

The RB9 has a slightly revised colour scheme incorporating purple, to reflect the team’s title branding from Infiniti.

Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel will again be partnered with Mark Webber. The RB9 will have its first shakedown run at Jerez during pre-season testing.

Watch the video on the building on the new Red Bull RB9 below:

Graphite grey look to the new Sauber C32

Sauber C32 front

This is the new livery that Sauber will race this season and the first impressions are, its looks fantastic! It reminds me of the classic 1993 car with the dark graphite style.

The C32 was revealed in an event at the team’s Hinwil headquarters in Switzerland. Sauber hopes that this new car will continue last season’s success – which included four podium finishes and sixth in the constructors’ championship – in the upcoming Formula 1 season.

Sauber C32 side

Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn said that given last year’s results, Sauber wanted to build on the previous car’s strong points rather than starting afresh.

“I’m very excited, but also a little tense,” she said. “The aim is very clear and simple: we want to continue to improve ourselves.

“The Sauber C32 is based on its predecessor, which was a very competitive car.

“It had a lot of strengths and some weaknesses, and our engineers have worked to build on those strengths and eliminate the weaknesses.”

Sauber C32 side view

Sauber also has an all-new driver line-up for 2013, with Nico Hulkenberg joining from Force India while the team’s test driver Esteban Gutierrez has been promoted to the race seat.

Ferrari launches the new F138 in Maranello

Ferrari F138 2013

This is the new Formula 1 car that the Scuderia hopes it can mount a serious challenge in this season’s world championship.

Ferrari presented its F138 at Maranello and has been developed with the aid of the ex-Toyota windtunnel in Cologne following the team’s decision to shut down its own unit in order to upgrade it.

The F138, whose name is a combination of the current year and a tribute to the V8 engines that will be used for the final time this season, is the 59th Grand Prix single-seater produced by the Italian outfit.

Ferrari hopes that the new car will be quick and trouble-free following a dismal performance by its predecessor when it made its testing debut last year.

Despite the issue, the historic Italian outfit managed to stay in the championship fight until the end of 2012, with Fernando Alonso losing out to his Red Bull Racing rival Sebastian Vettel in the season finale in Brazil by three points.

Alonso and Massa F138

For the fourth year in succession, Ferrari has retained the driving talent of the 2005/06 world champion Fernando Alonso with the 2008 runner-up Felipe Massa.

Team principal Stefano Domenicali described the car as an “evolution” of the car, which the team raced in 2012 and said it represented the “first step” in the team’s development for this year.

The F138 retains the pull-rod front and rear suspension used on last year’s car. According to the Scuderia, the car’s bodywork has been redesigned to improve its aerodynamic performance, a key weakness of recent Ferraris.

F318 side

The Kinetic Energy Recovery System has been revised and lightened. However Ferrari stressed they are keen to repeat the high levels of reliability they enjoyed with the F2012.

After securing a one-year contract extension thanks to his resurgence in the second half of the 2012, Felipe Massa will have the unique opportunity to shakedown the F138 for the first time during testing at Jerez.

Two-time world champion Alonso will be partnered by Felipe Massa again this year after the Brazilian secured a one-year contract extension thanks to his resurgence in the second half of the season.

Let’s hope the new car will perform well and can challenge for race wins and possibly the drivers’ title in the upcoming season.

The new Force India VJM06

Force India VJM06 2013

Force India unveiled its 2013 car at the home of the British Grand Prix with the VJM06.

The Silverstone-based team finished seventh in last season’s constructors’ championship, despite increasing their points haul and could have won in Brazil thanks to Nico Hulkenberg’s spirited drive at Interlagos.

Hulkenberg has now moved to Sauber for 2013, and Force India has yet to announce who will partner Paul di Resta during the upcoming Formula 1 season.

Frenchman Jules Bianchi had been strongly linked with the drive, but he was present at Maranello during the launch of the new Ferrari F138.

The new VJM06 car will be powered by Mercedes engines for the fifth consecutive time and had a brief shakedown run at Silverstone before heading off to Jerez for proper pre-season testing.

Paul di Resta VJM06 2013

“I’m eager to feel what the car is all about. We’re giving it a short test today to get a bit of an idea,” said di Resta, who admitted it was hard to make predictions for 2013.

“I think it’s difficult to set yourself targets, especially at this point. It’s consistency and working the momentum to carry over from last year.

“That’s the focus, to have a car that gets into Q3 and put ourselves into strong positions.”

VJM06 shakedown

Technical director Andrew Green said the limited scope for innovation under the technical rules forced them to be more aggressive in their pursuit of performance.

“I’ve pushed the guys quite hard in areas that’s outside their comfort zone,” said Green. “It is under the skin, you can’t see it from here: rear suspension, front suspension, aerodynamics have all been pushed hard.

“I think the guys have done a really good job over the winter and the car is a step improvement from last year. The car should be a lot more consistent, should be a lot easier to drive. We’re looking forward to Jerez to see whether it does what it says on the tin.”

He added that the team’s focus in testing will be getting to the bottom of Pirelli’s new tyres for 2013: “The new tyres haven’t had too much of an impact on this year’s design. It’s been quite small, really.

“We’ve left ourselves a few options to look after the tyres and keep them in their optimum windows.

“What it will do is drive our winter test programme massively. Our focus in testing will be all around the tyres. It’s one thing we don’t really understand at the moment and we probably won’t until we start running them.

“Ever in winter testing it will be difficult to get the complete picture, running around Barcelona is not going to be the same as running in Melbourne.”