Alfa Romeo unveils 2019 racer

This is the new Formula 1 race car from Alfa Romeo Racing, presented to the world’s media ahead of the first pre-season test session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Despite its rebranding from Sauber over the winter break, the outfit has kept the C-prefixed chassis name used by its previous incarnation – meaning the 2019 design is the Alfa Romeo C38.

The livery is very similar to the colour scheme used by Sauber last season, when it was already running with Alfa Romeo as its title sponsor.

Though the amount of Alfa Romeo’s traditional red in the design has increased, but a large part of the front of the car remains white.

The C38 features the 2019 regulated front wing design with the elements sloping down towards the endplate, plus an aggressive nose concept to help channel airflow.

The team’s 2019 challenger completed a successful shakedown at Ferrari test track Fiorano previously, with Kimi Raikkonen doing the driving.

For that first run, Sauber used a special camouflage ‘love’ livery to celebrate the test taking place on Valentine’s Day.

Raikkonen will kick off testing for Alfa Romeo at Barcelona on day one, before his team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi gets his first taste of the car on second day.

It’s great that The Iceman is back with his original Formula 1 team. Been 18 years since Raikkonen made his debut in the sport with Sauber. Now, Kimi is eager to start his latest season alongside new driver Antonio Giovinazzi.

Ferrari presents the SF90

Can this be the Formula 1 racer that can win the championship? Scuderia Ferrari presents the SF90, featuring the new 2019 aerodynamics and a tweaked red and black livery.

The Maranello outfit has improved to become a regular challenger to Mercedes over the past two seasons but is still bidding to end a title drought that stretches more than a decade. Ferrari’s new car, the SF90 to commemorate the manufacturer’s 90th anniversary in 2019.

The Mission Winnow branding remains on the front and rear wings, nose and engine cover as a nod to primary sponsor Philip Morris International’s new-technology initiative. And yet, it has been inverted to black instead of white like when it first appeared in late-2018.

Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel remains with the Scuderia for a fifth season but will now be joined by highly-rated Charles Leclerc, who replaces Kimi Raikkonen.

Ferrari has also shaken up its management, with former chief technical officer Mattia Binotto promoted to team principal in place of Maurizio Arrivabene.

Binotto said at the launch that it will be “very intense, hard work” to get ready for the season but said “we are all focused and very excited to start”.

Of his new role, he said: “It’s simply looking ahead. I don’t think there is much to think about.

“Just do what you need to do and try to do it your best.”

Binotto and both drivers were joined by Ferrari chairman John Elkann, vice-chairman Piero Ferrari and CEO Louis Camilleri.

Addressing attendees at the launch and those watching online, Camilleri said: “This year is an important one for we celebrate our 90th anniversary as the Scuderia Ferrari was born in Modena in 1929.

“It’s an important milestone as we continue to be inspired and guided by the vision of our founder Enzo Ferrari.

“We fully understand as a team we carry the hopes, expectation and pride of an entire nation and millions of fans across the world.

“It’s a responsibility we gladly accept. Last season was our best in the last 10 years, yet we fell short of our objectives.

“Such a setback is never easy to swallow, but I assure you we look ahead with strong commitment and determination.”

All hopes are on Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc with this SF90. Fingers crossed the race team can cut out the strategical mistakes that affected their title hopes last season and score consistent top results.

That all-important championship will be the top moment to celebrate the Italian manufacturer’s 90th anniversary.

Orange and blue MCL34 from McLaren

There’s a new colour scheme for McLaren as the Woking-based outfit unveiled its 2019 racer.

The Renault-powered MCL34, sporting a new variation of the ‘papaya orange’ that was brought back the year before, was presented at the McLaren Technology Centre.

It features prominent branding for McLaren’s new sponsors Estrella Galicia and Huski Chocolate, as well as Petrobras, Dell and Renault.

The MCL34 will be raced by two new drivers in the shape of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Formula 2 graduate Lando Norris, the pair replacing Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, who made up the team’s line-up in the two previous seasons.

“The feeling within the team is incredible,” said sporting director Gil de Ferran. “It is a lot of excitement, a lot of anticipation – and if I cast my mind back to six months ago when I joined team full-time and being in the trenches with everyone, thinking about every single decision, and now seeing car here, in its full glory, it really is an incredible feeling.

“This is a beautiful piece of art, I think it It depicts very well all the capabilities that McLaren has in terms of craftsmanship and engineering.

“This is an exciting time. We focused a lot on our preparations towards this year so I think we are ready and can’t wait to get going.”


McLaren will be hoping that the 2019 car will be a marked improvement upon its predecessor, the Renault-engined MCL33, which had been intended to bring the team closer to Formula 1’s forefront after three nightmare years using Honda power units.

The MCL33 enabled McLaren to finish sixth in the constructors’ standings, which only matched the best results of its latest Honda partnership.

The team’s position in the constructors’ standings was also flattered by the re-setting of Force India’s points, and CEO Zak Brown ultimately admitted the MCL33 was an “extremely poor racecar”.

McLaren’s disappointing form in 2018 led to a reshuffling of its technical staff and the departure of racing director Eric Boullier.

The team arranged to bring on board Toro Rosso’s James Key as tech chief, and confirmed at the start of this year that it would have a new team boss in Andreas Seidl, who had been lured away from Porsche.

“We are very excited,” said Brown. “A car launch is the start of a new season, it is about anticipation, excitement and appreciation – so many men and women come together to put this race car together.

“We are in a rebuilding process and it is going to be a journey.”

So an exciting new line-up of drivers plus car. Fingers crossed McLaren are back to being competitive. All the best to Lando Norris and ‘chili’ Carlos Sainz!

Force India is no more… welcome the Sportpesa Racing Point F1 team

The Force India brand is no more and in its place is Racing Point, with a new title sponsorship deal with sports betting company Sportpesa.

The familiar pink livery remains thanks to the ongoing support from BWT, which started sponsoring the team in 2017 in its Force India days.

To mark its new title partner with Sportpesa, the logo appears with blue and white branding on the front wing, engine cover and rear wing.

The team will also be formally branded as Sportpesa Racing Point F1 Team.

Racing Point assumed control of the ex-Force India team and joined the Formula 1 grid as a new entry from last year’s Belgian Grand Prix.

It planned a new identity for this season, and was understood to have held discussions over reviving the Brabham and Lola names, but has settled on continuing with Racing Point.

At the team’s season launch in Canada, Otmar Szafnauer explained: “We’ve all come to the conclusion to that basically we’re a team of racers and there’s nothing wrong with Racing Point and it encompasses who we are.

“We thought it was an appropriate name, let’s make it wonderful and let’s take that name and give it some history and time and some heritage.

“Racing Point is what we got to. I think it’s appropriate and thanks to our new title partner Sportpesa they are part of the name too.”

The SportPesa partnership has been described as a “multi-year” deal.

Szafnauer said: “SportPesa is a young, dynamic, growing company whose values align with our own vision to become a team capable of competing at the very front of the grid.

“We are excited to have such an ambitious partner on board to help us deliver our team mission and look forward to working with them to bring the sport of Formula 1 closer to fans around the world.”

SportPesa has partnerships with three Premier League football clubs: Arsenal, Southampton and Everton.

Company director Adam Beighton said: “We are absolutely delighted to become part of the extended Formula 1 family.

“This partnership is very important to us because it diversifies us into new territories and allows us to reach new audiences across the globe.

“Equally important is the platform it provides us which enables us to stay true to our mission; to build and develop grassroots and professional sport in the countries where we operate by bringing new opportunities to local communities.”

Lance Stroll is the new driver joining the team after his father Lawrence purchased a share. He will drive alongside Sergio Perez. Hopefully the duo can score a Racing Point on a regular basis.

Radical new Red Bull

This is the new radical Red Bull Racing RB15 which will be powered by Honda.

The livery has been significantly revamped for the upcoming Formula 1 championship, featuring a clash of red against the dark blue. It certainly looks eye-catching and aggressive. And yet, this new paint job is just one-off. Probably in pre-season testing.

The four-time constructors’ championship-winning team has moved away from long-time supplier Renault in a bid to fight for titles again.

Last season, Red Bull’s deal to brand its Renault engines TAG Heuer meant it ran the Swiss watch manufacturer’s logos on the nose cone and where the engine cover meets the back of the sidepods.

Now, the Honda branding appears on the engine cover with TAG Heuer – which continues to support Red Bull despite the changed engine deal – shuffled to a position in front of the cockpit.

Aston Martin logos continue to appear on the outside of the cockpit and rear wing.

Red Bull looks set to shake its car down at Silverstone later, joining champion team Mercedes on track.

The junior Toro Rosso squad is also on track at Misano with Daniil Kvyat driving its 2019 car.

Max Verstappen, who effectively assumes the role of lead driver alongside newcomer Pierre Gasly, said in a Red Bull video released ahead of the unveiling that he was “very excited” to get started after off-season that had felt “quite long”.

But he said he would avoid setting targets until the opening race.

“I guess up until Australia you can’t really set goals,” said Verstappen. “It’s a bit blind. In F1 it’s related to the package you get.

“So, I’m always quite easy going. That doesn’t mean I’m not always going to try to do as good as I can try to get the best out of myself.

“But you’re so dependent on what you get as a package you just have to wait.”

The new RB15 certainly looks like a mean machine. The new paint job makes this race car look badass. Hopefully the Honda power unit is reliable compared to its last partnership with McLaren… Excited by the line-up of Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly on the driving front. Go Red Bull!

Mercedes presents the beautiful W10 Silver Arrows

Defending world champions Mercedes has revealed their 2019 racer, the W10, in a shakedown event at Silverstone.

The Mercedes AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ features the new aerodynamic rules, especially the wider front wing, as well as a new livery to the iconic Silver Arrows.

Mercedes hopes that this new chassis can continue their winning form by going for the sixth consecutive championship double in the upcoming Formula 1 championship.

Team boss Toto Wolff said that the new aero regulations coming in for 2019 meant that the pressure had been raised at his outfit to keep on top in Formula 1.

“The 2019 season will be a new challenge for all of us,” he said. “The regulations have changed quite substantially. We have to start from scratch, we need to prove ourselves again – against our own expectations and against our competitors.

“We start the season with zero points, so we’re taking nothing for granted and there’s absolutely no feeling of entitlement to be at the front. In fact, with the regulation change for the new season, every team can have a shot at the title and we’re seeing all of them as a potential threat.”

He added: “We’re eager to hit the ground running in Barcelona, to benchmark ourselves against our own simulations and see if our predictions materialise on track.

“We will focus on ourselves, building up performance and hopefully be ready when the first really competitive session starts on Saturday in Melbourne.”

Although the W10 had been adapted to suit the new regulations, it has retained the same wheelbase length as its predecessor.

Technical director James Allison said: “A close inspection will reveal that the execution of this concept has been further refined.

“Every item is pushed tighter, made more slender – each change permitting us to improve the aerodynamic performance beyond what would have been possible had we accepted the physical limitations of the 2018 design.”

The new car certainly looks beautiful and I love the revised Silver Arrows livery compared to last season’s winning racer. Best wishes to the five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in the upcoming season of racing.

Ricciardo and Hulkenberg’s yellow racer, the Renault RS19

This is the Formula 1 racer that Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg will compete in this season’s world championship.

Renault hopes that this new RS19 will close the performance gap to the top three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull – in 2019.

With new driver Daniel Ricciardo joining the squad, Renault has faith that the ongoing improvements to its infrastructure and staffing levels will pay dividends in allowing it to keep up the progress it has made since it returned to Formula 1.

“We feel ready, we feel it is the right time to show you all what has been going on in the background of the last three years and are extremely proud of,” said team boss Cyril Abiteboul.

“When you walk around Enstone you feel the passion and dedicated to racing.

“The first phase of the plan was regeneration as you have seen. You will see pretty much every single area of the factory has been improved if not completely transformed, from wind tunnel instrumentation, manufacturing, milling machines, clean room, race bays, every single area improved in order to compete on the same level as the best.

“In Viry it has been a bit more tactical, some recruitment here or there, some equipment we will be commissioning in a few weeks, a brand new state-of-the-art dyno fully compatible with the 2021 regulations, plus a new building venture that should come out of the ground in 2020.

“Hopefully by 2020 we should get there with brand new engine workshop. We’ve invested a lot in Enstone and we ill be investing in Viry.”

The Enstone-based outfit finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last year, but is under no illusions about the performance gap that still remains to Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull ahead of it.

Renault has been aggressive with the development push for the black and yellow RS19, leaving the sign off of parts as late as possible in a bid to maximise development time.

While that means it is having to work flat out to ensure the car is ready for testing next week, it is hopeful that there will be performance benefits.

The car also features what Renault believes is a much-improved Formula 1 engine, with a new design building on the promise of last year’s C-spec power unit that Red Bull used at the end of the 2018 season.

Best of luck in this upcoming season and I am excited by the partnership of the honey badger and the Hulk. Hopefully Renault can challenge with consistent points finishes. Want to see Ricciardo’s shoey podium again!

Bold new look to Williams for 2019

A new title sponsor for Williams Formula 1 team has resulted in a radical new livery for the FW42.

Previously, the team had Martini Racing branding. The alcohol sponsorship first ran in 2013. But for the upcoming 2019 season, Williams has signed a deal with emerging British-based telecommunications company ROKiT.

The ROKiT deal was announced at an event at Williams’s factory, attended by team principal Claire Williams and their 2019 drivers Robert Kubica and Formula 2 champion George Russell.

The 2019 Williams is not expected to be seen until the start of pre-season testing next season.

Announcing the deal, the team described ROKiT as a “new telco brand challenging the status quo, offering premium smartphone technology, performance and design at an affordable price and installing innovative Wi-Fi networks to make the world a better place”.

Deputy team principal Williams said: “We are delighted to welcome ROKiT to our team as our title partner for the 2019 season and beyond.

“We share many similar values and aspirations with ROKiT; primarily putting engineering and innovation at the core of everything we do in our pursuit to be the best – the perfect platform from which to start a partnership.

“ROKiT is on an exciting journey in their world of telecommunications, as we are at Williams as we build the team for a successful future.

“Taking that path together will make us both stronger in our endeavours and so I can’t wait to get started.”

ROKiT co-founder Jonathan Kendrick previously worked in Formula 1 as a Goodyear tyre engineer, including on Alan Jones’s car at Williams in the 1978 season.

So a blue and white livery for Williams. A complete change from the Martini Racing colours over the last few seasons.

As for the drivers, so pleased that Robert Kubica is back in Formula 1 after many years away from the sport. It will be fascinating to see how well the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix winner will go alongside last year’s Formula 2 champion George Russell. Best of luck to Williams!

Familiar colours and yet all new chassis from Toro Rosso

Scuderia Toro Rosso has revealed images of its 2019 Formula 1 car online, providing the first clear look o this season’s new aerodynamic regulations.

While Haas became the first squad to publish images of its new car last week, its new mostly black livery shrouded much of the detail on the VF-19 beyond the simplified front wing.

Toro Rosso unveiled its Honda-powered STR14 online, revealing a dramatically different bargeboard arrangement in line with this year’s greater aerodynamic restrictions.

The team’s blue, silver and red livery, first introduced in 2017, remains.

Toro Rosso finished ninth in the constructors’ championship last season and will have a closer relationship with main factory outfit Red Bull this year by using parts from its senior team’s 2018 car.

Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal, said: “The aim is to always improve in order to compete at the highest possible level and this winter we have worked intensively to bring a few organisational changes, which we hope will help smooth a few issues we experienced in the past.

“We have analysed all the internal procedures in order to optimise our strengths and minimise our weaknesses.

“Compared to other teams, Toro Rosso count on a smaller number of people, but the synergies with Red Bull Technology for the non-listed parts, now that Red Bull will also be equipped with the Honda engine, will leave more time for our technical working groups to focus more on the details.

“Attention to detail makes the difference and this translates to more performance.”

Tost explained that components that relate to the Honda engine will be the same specification as Red Bull’s.

He said that “most of the remaining parts” will be last year’s specification because Toro Rosso would not be able to match Red Bull’s rapid development of 2019 parts.

“We have very good technical people to follow the in-house design, and the reliability of last year’s synergy project parts will put us in a more favourable situation to develop quicker during the season,” Tost added.

As for the driver line-up in the upcoming season, newcomer Alexander Albon will make his Formula 1 debut, driving alongside the returning Daniil Kvyat, who was Ferrari’s development driver.

Haas unveils new black and gold livery for 2019

American Formula 1 team Haas has revealed its new race livery in the upcoming 2019 season featuring the branding of title sponsor Rich Energy.

The car was presented at the Royal Automobile Club in London and even though its not the definitive chassis, the car does feature the 2019-style aerodynamics, especially the front wing.

“We’re absolutely over the moon to be in Formula 1,” said Rich Energy CEO William Storey. “It’s a perfect platform for our brand.”

“We’re looking forward to taking Red Bull on, on and off the track, and challenging them. We’ve got a perfect partner in Haas who I believe are the best-run team on the grid and we’ve got an awful lot in common as organisations.”

Haas announced last October it had secured backing from the British energy drink brand. It is believed to have beaten competition from at least two rival teams who were linked to Rich Energy.

The American-owned, British-based squad is heading into its fourth full season in Formula 1. It has worked its way up the constructors’ championship standings during its first three seasons, rising to fifth last season.

The team has retained its driver line-up of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for a third consecutive time.