Category: Car Launches

Red Bull Racing launch RB12 at Barcelona test

Following a livery launch in London last week, where the team revealed a new matte black design, Red Bull has rolled out the RB12 in the Barcelona pit-lane.


Red Bull will continue to run with Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat while they will race with a new Power Unit partnership with TAG Heuer. 2015 was a difficult season for Red Bull, not enjoying any of the success of winning they have experienced over the past five years.

“Obviously the late engine decision last year was a challenge but we found a solution in time and the whole team has worked incredibly hard to recover over the winter,” Team Principal Christian Horner explained. “Therefore, we’re looking to build on the significant progress we made in the second half of 2015 and to carry the momentum into the early races of this season.”

“My hopes for this season are that we genuinely make progress from where we were last year,” he continued. “[I hope] that we get our heads down and we really develop the car well and hopefully with some performance coming on the power unit side as well that will allow us to get closer to some of our immediate rivals.”

As has been the case with other teams, 2016 has been a year of evolution rather than revolution in terms of design due to the stable regulations. “What we’ve really tried to concentrate on with this car is getting a cohesive package for all the parts – the suspension, the chassis dynamics, aerodynamics  – that they all work together in harmony,” Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey explained. “I think we’ve managed to build on the lessons of last year and all the indications from our simulations suggest that this year’s chassis should be strong.”


Manor Racing reveal the MRT05 – the “best car” they’ve ever launched

On the morning of the first pre-season test of 2016, Manor Racing became the latest team to reveal their challenger for the year ahead.

John McQuillam, the team’s Technical Director, has high hopes for the MRT05. “Even at this early stage of the game, we can easily say this is the best car we’ve ever launched,” he revealed. “[It’s] certainly the most developed, the most ambitious and the most aggressive. The overall package is a very significant step forward, not just from last year, but from any of the cars from our stable. So yes, we have a long way to go from here in terms of developing the MRT05, but it’s already a dream package for the 154 Manor Racing people who’ve worked so hard to design and build it. In a small team like ours, every single individual has played their part.”

“It’s all new,” he continued. “As it should be of course, but we had to ‘make do’ last year and that’s not what we’re here for. We build fast race cars for a living and it’s great to get back to doing what we love. We’re also pretty good at it, when we have the right tools for the job. So that in itself is quite special. Better still, the MRT05 is a contender. We really believe that. The design team have focused almost exclusively on it since the middle of last season and it’s just a whole different ball game to any of its predecessors. We haven’t left any performance on the table and right now I can say there’s not a single part of the car we’d have designed differently.”

Manor will race with a Mercedes Power Unit this season, having previously used Ferrari power. As well as that they have a technical partnership with Williams who will be supplying their gearbox and other components. As well as new partnerships, Manor will run with an all new line-up in 2016 – fielding Formula One rookies Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto. Wehrlein is reigning DTM champion and has strong links with  Mercedes while Haryanto is coming off the back of his best ever season in GP2.

“We are done with just turning up just to make everyone else look good,” Team Principal Dave Ryan explained. “Every single person in this team is looking forward to the first race in Melbourne in a few weeks. We know we have to improve in every area and in no way do we underestimate the opposition, but we have assemble a great group of people. We have a fantastic technical partnership with Mercedes-Benz and Williams Advanced Engineering and now it’s up to us to deliver.”

VJM09 breaks cover in the Barcelona pit-lane

This year’s  Force India has broken cover in the Barcelona pit-lane, ahead of the start of the first pre-season test.

The VJM09 is an evolution of its predecessor – the car which took the team to fifth place in last year’s championship, including a podium finish at the Russian Grand Prix. As well as stable regulations, the team has chosen to stick with its line-up with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg on hand to help reveal the car. They were joined by Alfonso Celis Jr who will be the team’s test and reserve driver this year. He is in the car for two days during the first pre-season test.

“You can say the b-spec car from last year formed a basis on which to build our 2016 one,” Technical Director Andrew Green explained. “We were in a situation in which the performance on track was very good, and in which the data we were getting correlated well to what we were expecting, so we knew we could continue to develop on a solid platform. With the regulations likely to change for 2017, it didn’t really seem like an efficient use of our resources to start from scratch on a project that would have such a limited lifetime.”

The team’s colours remain the same for the season ahead. “The colours reflect our partners and heritage,” Team Principal Vijay Mallya revealed. “Although  I’m biased, I think our car is one of the best looking on the grid and that’s why I wanted to keep a consistent look for 2016. As they say – ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.”

“I want us to begin 2016 in the same way we ended 2015,” he continued. “Our technical team is excited about the progress we have made over the winter and there’s every reason to believe we can stay at the front of the midfield battle.”

For the season ahead the team has aero updates planned in time for the first race of the season along with another step for the start of the European season.

Haas F1 Team launch VF-16

Formula One’s newest team Haas F1 has launched their 2016 car – the VF-16.

The car – named for being the team’s  Very First – will be driven this year by Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez. The American based team is the first new team to join the grid since 2010 and is also the first American led F1 team in 30 years.

“From an international standpoint, Formula One is the highest echelon of racing and  Haas Automation builds the highest-quality machine tools,” Team Chairman Gene Haas said. “When you hear F1 you know exactly what it is – a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide. Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice is the best way to grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand.”

Haas F1 has set its sights on points in its debut season. “We’re a new team, so we looked at what the successful teams were doing to give us a baseline of the direction we needed to go with our design,” Team Principal Guenther Steiner revealed. “We have very experienced designers who worked hard to develop all the little things from an aerodynamic perspective that, collectively add up to a lot.”

“Our goal with this car is to score points,” Steiner continued. “First, we need to go out there and show that we can do the job, that we can finish races, that we are respected by the fans and other teams in the paddock. Then, we want to score points. That is the ultimate goal.”

Haas F1 has a technical partnership with Ferrari who will also supply their Power Units for the upcoming season.


Mercedes tweet images of W07

Reigning world champions Mercedes have tweeted images of the car they hope will help them retain the championship for the third year in a row.

While the W07 looks largely similar to its predecessor, Paddy Lowe has revealed that most of the changes come on the inside. “It’s difficult to have a complete revolution when the rules have stayed pretty much the same year on year,” he explained. “We aim to make minor revolutions whenever we can – even within a small context. We may look at a completely new packaging solution or suspension concept, for instance. Underneath there are quite a lot of mini revolutions that make up an overall evolution for the new season.”

“It’s very tough to find performances under a stable set of regulations,” he continued. “We were particularly pleased with how the car turned out in 2015 when we had the same situation. The team did a fantastic job – digging very deep to find all sorts of innovations in areas that might have been considered static. 2016 is another carry-over year from a regulatory point of view and potential gains inevitably become harder to find under these circumstances. This is what tests an engineering team the most and  I must say that this team has been very good at that. It’s far easier to find performance when yo have a new set of rules, that’s for sure.”

It’s not only with the chassis that Mercedes hope strides will be made, they have also been working to maintain the level of performance their engine gave in 2015. “To get the performance out of this new generation of Power  Units, you need to chase efficiency,” Andy Cowell explained. “That’s both combustion efficiency and efficiency in the various energy transition steps – i.e. MGU-H, MGU-K, turbocharger, power electronics and batteries. We’re constantly working on every single piece of the puzzle to improve performance at the crankshaft, while also seeking to ensure we don’t suffer any of the problems we had last year with reliability. So, it’s about getting down to the root cause of issues and making sure that everything is robust across our whole process, as much as extracting performance.”


McLaren unveil “innovative” MP4-31


Ferrari launch SF16-H

Ferrari has launched the car they hope will see them take the championship challenge to Mercedes in 2016.

The SF16-H was revealed online in a series of videos and photographs. The traditional red livery has been given a twist this year with a predominantly white engine cover. The car comprises 100 different metal alloys, 20,000 different pieces for gearbox, chassis and engine, and spent 1,500 hours in the wind tunnel. It features a shortened nose and a tapered rear end.

Following a year where they were the only team to beat Mercedes on track, Ferrari are confident for the year ahead.

“This year is the year for us,” Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene said. “We have to demonstrate that the expectation of the public is going to be satisfied by our result. Of course it’s not an easy task because our competitors – especially Mercedes – are not waiting for us to be beaten but I think we try to do our best. We’re not going to the races to play – we want to go to races to put our red and white car in front of the others. But, I recognise that our competitors are very very strong.”

“It is certainly a very bold car but then it needs to be,” James Allison explained. “If we look at last year’s car, we were working to improve a baseline that was really quite poor so you could make big steps. To improve a car that was already quite reasonable – last year’s car – to make something this year that was also a big step forward, you need to take some bolder steps. You need to be able to be braver and to work across the entire car in an aggressive way.”

“That is something that we have done on the chassis side and on the power unit,” he continued. “On this year’s car we have a very high proportion of new, bold approaches and that is necessary for us to make the sort of step forward that we need to make.”

Four time world champion Sebastian Vettel joined Ferrari last year and took three wins for the team and finished third in the championship. “I think last year was very good for us, very positive,” he said. “Obviously the success that we had early on helped to stabilise the team, but nevertheless it is still a very young team with a lot of new people. I think you can feel it going round in the factory – everyone is fired up and we want to win. The target is clear, the expectation is there but I think that’s also where we want to be.”

Kimi Raikkonen, who has raced five seasons with the Scuderia, revealed he had not made many changes to his preparations for the season ahead. “We do the normal things over the winter and obviously want to have a stronger season,” he explained. “It’s just putting small things together. I think we did a better job at the end of the year – we’ll see where we are with the car and then go from there and see what happens in the races.”