Alfa Romeo unveils 2020 Formula 1 car on eve of pre-season testing

The Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team unveiled their C39 to the world’s press just before day one of pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The former Sauber outfit presented their 2020 race car in the pitlane, having previously given the C39 a maiden run in a camo livery in a Fiorano shakedown earlier.

Drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were on hand to lift the covers off the new livery, which remains largely unchanged from last year’s design.

The white base colour remains with red trim, but with additional branding for new title partner Orlen – on the front wing endplates, rear wing and sidepod – following its arrival for the 2020 season. The blue lines that were on the 2019 car’s nosecone have been painted red.

New reserve driver Robert Kubica form part of Alfa Romeo’s driving talent following his race stint with Williams last year.

In addition to the C39 launch, Alfa Romeo confirmed it has retained 2020 Super Formula newcomer Tatiana Calderon in a test driver capacity.

So that’s all the Formula 1 race cars from the ten teams. Pre-season testing gets underway at the Spanish Grand Prix race circuit and it will be fascinating which team/car is looking good in the early stages.

The opening round of the championship begins next month at Melbourne, Albert Park. So testing is highly important in terms of getting technical feedback and knowledge.

Racing Point debuts 2020 car

This is the new ‘Pink Panther’ Formula 1 car from Racing Point. The team revealed its 2020 livery at BWT’s Austrian base in Mondsee including the news on a long-term sponsorship deal with water technology company.

Featuring a revised paint job on new RP20, the team’s previous title sponsor, betting firm SportPesa, is no longer involved.

Racing Point drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll will again drive the car, with the former signing a new contract to stay with the team for a number of years.

The team will now compete as ‘BWT Racing Point F1 Team’, and branding for its title sponsor is more prominent on the car and on the race suits compared to 2019.

The RP20 is the second car produced by Racing Point since it was rescued by a consortium led by Lance Stroll’s father Lawrence Stroll ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix in 2018.

It was announced that the team will be rebranded as Aston Martin next year after Lawrence Stroll bought into the manufacturer last month.

The 2020 season is the second that Sergio Perez – who joined the team in 2014 – and Stroll will be teammates.

They finished P10 and P15 in the 2019 drivers’ standings, with Racing Point ending up seventh in the constructors’ championship.

“This year we want to be a strong fourth,” team boss Otmar Szafnauer said. “We want to be closer to the top three that we’ve ever been in the past, and we want to be top of the midfield.

“Last year was a bit of a difficult year for us, we ended up seventh, on the back end of the midfield grid, but this year we want to take a step up and be where we normally can be.

“In order to do that, we’ve had to do a lot of development work over the winter. It’s not that easy, the competition is getting stronger: McLaren did a really good job last year; Renault, with the might of the motor company behind them and the 650-plus employees that they have, aren’t going to be easy [to beat]; even Toro Rosso [AlphaTauri] with the resurgence of the Honda powertrain did really well towards the end of last year.

“But I’m confident that the work we’ve done over the winter on the new car, and the work that Mercedes, our powertrain partner, has done on the powertrain, and the hard work the drivers have been doing to keep fit and work in our simulators, we will have a good chance to hit our targets.”

It’s going to be a fascinating season for the BWT-sponsored team and it will be interesting to see the performance compared to their rivals. Best wishes Racing Point.

New look for Williams F1 in 2020

This is the new livery design and car concept from Williams. The Mercedes-powered FW43 will be driven by George Russell and the 2019 Formula 2 runner-up Nicholas Latifi this season.

Its red, white and blue livery represents a major departure from the colour scheme as seen on the FW42.

Williams is coming off the back of a disappointing 2019 season where it finished last in the constructors’ championship with just a single point scored by Robert Kubica in the German Grand Prix.

The outfit endured a particularly difficult start to the year when its new car was late for pre-season testing, and it parted company with then technical chief Paddy Lowe soon after.

Its problems prompted the team to change its processes and conduct a reshuffling of staff, and it is all set to make the start of testing now, with the car having already run in a Barcelona shakedown.

“This year marks a fresh start for the team,“ said deputy team principal Claire Williams.

“We have spent time addressing our areas of weakness and have ensured that we have the right people, structures, procedures and resource in place to deliver competitive race cars. We are all committed to re-building Williams and returning the team to competitiveness.

“As such, our 2020 campaign is about making progress. The fighting spirit is still very much alive, and this year, everyone will continue that fight until we get back to where we want to be.”

Hopefully the new FW43 will turn around the disappointing and frustrating past year with a solid performance in 2020. Best of luck Williams.

AlphaTauri presents bold livery and car

Scuderia Toro Rosso is no more, as the team is now rebranded as AlphaTauri and this is the new livery and 2020 car, the AT01.

It certainly looks fresh and exciting after so many seasons featuring the Red Bull branding. The white and blue livery looks brilliant. The AT01 was unveiled at Red Bull’s Hanger 7 facility in Salzburg after the presentation of AlphaTauri’s clothing line and team wear.

AlphaTauri, which was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Salzburg, is Red Bull’s in-house fashion brand.

The rebrand is the team’s first since Red Bull took over the Minardi Formula 1 entry and Faenza base ahead of the 2006 season, and means that familiar ‘STR’ prefix in the names of the cars themselves has also been retired.

Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly will unite for their first season starting as team mates following Gasly’s demotion from the senior Red Bull Racing outfit ahead of last year’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Although both drivers raced for Toro Rosso in 2017, Kvyat’s 15 races and Gasly’s five outings – in a season when the team ran six drivers – did not coincide.

The team finished sixth in the 2019 constructors’ championship – its best result since 2008, the year Sebastian Vettel famously won the Italian Grand Prix.

Both Kvyat and Gasly scored podiums for Toro Rosso in 2019 – the former took third at the crazy German Grand Prix and the latter finished second in Brazil.

“We are looking with a new car to a new season, and I must say we are very optimistic for this season,” said team principal Franz Tost.

“Why? Because first of all the car showed very good results in the windtunnel, for second Honda, our friends in Japan, Sakura, made big progress during the winter months, from the performance side as well as from the reliability side. Third, we have two good drivers, they showed it already last year.

“We are really optimistic. The team must perform well, we have a fantastic partner with AlphaTauri and I am really convinced that AlphaTauri will have a successful season.”

Hopefully the performance by AlphaTauri this season will be competitive even with a new paint job. Best of luck to the team previously known as Toro Rosso.

World champions Mercedes unveils their 2020 challenger, the W11

This is the new W11 from the defending Formula 1 world champions, Mercedes. The German car manufacturer hopes that this 2020 race car can earn the team’s their seventh successive title.

Mercedes released some images of the W11 online followed by a shakedown test at a filming day at Silverstone.

Mercedes will have an unchanged driver line-up this year, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas remaining on board for the fourth season as teammates.

The Brackley-based team had already revealed the tweaked livery of the W11 at a sponsorship event with new principal partner INEOS.

Mercedes success in the V6 turbo-hybrid era has broken several records and 2019 was one of its most emphatic seasons yet.

The team won the first eight races of the season, 15 in total from the 21 grands prix, and banked 739 points – its second-highest tally despite more competition than before.

However, while Ferrari and Red Bull had clear peaks and moments of superiority over Mercedes last year, neither put together a full title challenge.

That is expected to change this year, the final season with this set of car regulations, which means Mercedes’ should face the biggest threat to its dominance.

“I think success is taking each day at a time,” said team boss Toto Wolff about Mercedes’ 2020 goals. “Today success would be a good shakedown, we clock the mileage and get the filming in, both drivers get a first feeling with the car.

“No brake failure would be good!”

Hamilton said he did not feel any pressure at this point of his season preparations, and batted away talk he has seen from other drivers including Max Verstappen – who was recently quoted as saying that Hamilton was “good but not God”.

When asked at Mercedes’ shakedown about winter comments from rivals, Hamilton replied: “I find it funny, seeing that. I’ve always known to do my talking on the track. Often I tend to see [off-track comments] as a sign of weakness.”

Hamilton has never questioned Mercedes’ work ethic but it was clear last year that he felt there was plenty of room to improve with its 2020 car.

That was down to the aerodynamic and engine sides of the package.

“It’s not been a great year for us in terms of the great issue, in terms of our engine development,” said Hamilton in 2019. “It’s just not been as successful in that department, as I say.

“We’ll push to try and maybe reduce the drag a little bit but also increase power for next year.”

Earlier this year, Mercedes High Performance Powertrains chief Andy Cowell said his team had indeed targeted “lots of improvements across the whole power unit, on the ERS side and on the internal combustion engine side”.

The work on the W11 that began in late-2018 will have evolved to incorporate the lessons of the chassis department last year, too.

McLaren reveals the MCL35

This is the new Renault-powered MCL35 from McLaren, that will compete in the 2020 Formula 1 season.

At a special launch event from McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, the team revealed the MCL35 car that will be driven by Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris.

The MCL35 retains the team’s papaya and blue colour scheme from the previous season. But there is a significant block of blue along the side pods, as well on the airbag at the top of the engine cover.

McLaren enjoyed its best season for eight years in 2019 as it finished fourth in the constructors’ championship, heading the midfield teams.

Sainz managed to take sixth position in the drivers’ standings, behind the top five race winners in the championship, and even scored McLaren’s first podium since the 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix.

As for Norris, this will be his second season in Formula 1 and at McLaren. Norris did an impressive job in his debut season last year by scoring 49 point and achieving a best result of sixth in Austria.

Team principal Andreas Seidl is hoping that McLaren will continue to progress well in terms of scoring championship points and is proud of his team’s efforts so far.

“I have to say, it’s simply great to be part of this McLaren team today standing next to the MCL35,” said Seidl at the launch.

“I want to thank every single member of the team for all the hard work.

“Last year we simply kept improving race by race.

“I’m very happy with my leadership team, they are doing a sensational job, they have a clear plan of how we approach the future and now it’s important to keep this positive momentum up and keep improving as a team.”

The McLaren MCL35 car will make its on-track debut at the start of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Renault Sport teased their 2020 Formula 1 racer

Renault Sport F1 has teased the first images of its new 2020 race car and the French outfit says this is an “evolution” compared to last year’s Formula 1 car.

The team published glimpses of the new RS20 online and during a Paris event with its management plus the driver pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon.

Its 3D renders showed only parts of the car in a completely black livery. This bold, black look will only be used for pre-season testing while the normal colour scheme of yellow will return back when racing.

Renault is hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 2019 campaign during which it dropped down to fifth in the constructors’ championship, scoring fewer points than the previous season.

Team boss Cyril Abiteboul insisted the goal for 2020 was to regain fourth position behind the top teams.

“2020 is a pivotal year,” said Abiteboul. “It is the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one: we want to be present with the finalisation and conclusion of commercial agreements in the medium and long term.

“Of course it needs to take into account 2019, which is a year underneath our ambitions. The ambitions need to be moderated, need to be attained, need to be realistic.

“The objective is to be fourth, that is realistic and possible.

“We want to hold ourselves to reliability at the beginning of the season, and aggressive development through the season and realism on the track, nothing unrealistic on that.

“To attain that and get where we want to go we need to look at the medium and long term.

“This year needs us to enable to continue moving ahead and in line with our objectives which are more ambitious.”

After missing out on a drive for the team last year following the shock signing of Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon will now join the team’s line-up for this year, replacing Nico Hulkenberg.

It will be fascinating to see Ocon settling in with Renault and going up against Ricciardo. Hopefully his knowledge after spending a year at Mercedes – Ocon was the reserved driver – will be valuable for Renault in this upcoming season.

Red Bull Racing shows off the RB16

This is the new Honda-powered Red Bull RB16, which was unveiled online ahead of its first shakedown test run at Silverstone.

Unlike last year, when the car was first showcased with that fancy red camo livery, Red Bull Racing has opted to display the 2020 challenger in its usual colour scheme.

The RB16 will be driven by Max Verstappen, who signed a new contract extension to remain with the team until the 2023 season. He will be partnered this year by the promising Alex Albon, who got promoted from Toro Rosso mid-season last year.

Verstappen will be driving the car in the Silverstone shakedown, while Albon will make his debut behind the wheel of the RB16 in Barcelona pre-season testing.

Honda’s progress and a change in philosophy to avoid what had become an all-too-familiar slow start to the season has left Red Bull convinced it can mount its first sustained title challenge of the hybrid era this year.

Red Bull Racing becomes the fourth Formula 1 team to offer a major glimpse of its 2020 car, following images of the new Haas, Mercedes’ livery reveal on its 2019 car and Ferrari’s full car launch.

The RB16 retains prominent branding from Aston Martin in what will be the British manufacturer’s final year as Red Bull’s title sponsor, ahead of its 2021 link-up with Racing Point.

Ferrari unveils the SF1000

This is the new SF1000 from Scuderia Ferrari that will compete in the upcoming Formula 1 world championship.

The SF1000 is named in honour of the Italian manufacturer being set to participate in its 1000th race later this year.

The new racing car was presented to the public and watching media on social platform with an extravagant launch event at the Romolo Valli theatre in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

It features the prominent branding from title sponsor Philip Morris International’s ‘Mission Winnow’ initiative and even though the livery appears mostly unchanged, with other major partners like Shell, UPS and Ray-Ban remaining in prominent positions on the sidepod and elsewhere on the car.

The driver line-up remains the same as last year with the talented and double race winner Charles Leclerc entering his second season with the Scuderia alongside the four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.

The former has signed a new deal to remain with the team through to 2024, whereas Vettel’s current contract expires at the end of this season.

Leclerc and Vettel combined three race victories and nine pole positions with last year’s car, the SF90, but it was not competitive enough against the likes of Mercedes.

Hopefully the SF1000 will be a match in terms of performance with the W10 from the Silver Arrows.

The SF1000 has adopted an “extreme concept” in terms of design, despite the overall look seems very similar to last year’s chassis, the SF90.

“The starting point of that car is the SF90 but certainly we have been extreme on all the concepts as much as we could,” said Binotto at Ferrari’s launch in Italy.

“We developed the car and tried to look for the maximum aero performance – that’s first trying to maximise the downforce level.

“So the entire car, the monocoque, the power unit layout, the gearbox has been really packaged in a way to have a very narrow and slim body shape.

“I think that’s quite visible on it.”

“It is clearly going to be an interesting year, tough competition, a long season but it is also an important season because in parallel we have to create and develop a completely new car in line with the regulations that will govern F1 in 2021 and beyond, so the team is going to be very, very busy,” Ferrari chief executive Louis Camilleri said at the launch.

“I have every confidence in our women and men, their creativity, their discipline and determination and, above all, the work ethic they have had before which is the hallmark of this company, one instilled upon us by our founder Enzo Ferrari.

“Mattia [Binotto, team principal] and his team are doing a great job and we look forward to successes going forward.”

Haas F1 reveals 2020 racer

The American-owned outfit Haas has become the first Formula 1 team to reveal their 2020 racer, the VF-20, with online images ahead of pre-season testing.

The outfit will wait until the first official day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona to unveil its actual car, as artwork of the Ferrari-powered machine are posted on social media.

Haas F1 hopes that its new car, which features a change of livery following the end of its Rich Energy title sponsorship, will allow it to recovery after an a challenging and difficult 2019 season.

Last year was effectively derailed by an upgrade that was introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix did not deliver the step forward that had been hoped for.

The changes cost the team both a loss of performance as well as forcing it down a sequence of races where it had to run its cars in different specifications. In the end, the problem was traced back to a wind tunnel correlation issue which it hopes that it has got on top off.

Romain Grosjean, who has been retained for this year alongside Kevin Magnussen, commented that the team was going to throw all its efforts in to ensuring that it understood its 2020 challenger as soon as it could.

“We’re not making a presentation, we’re just launching,” said Grosjean. “We’re going to concentrate on the essentials and really get the best out of the car as quickly as possible.

“We’re waiting to see how is the car on track. We have all the numbers from the wind tunnel. I think we’ve learned a lot from last year. Now, again, the only answer we’re really going to get is when we run the car and see how it performs on the track.”

Hopefully the team’s performance will back on track and the VF-20 will deliver some positive results. It’s also great to see a new colour scheme for Haas following the dull and grey in the previous seasons.