Alright, so I can reveal that I’m covering this year’s F1 car launches with Race Fans (formerly F1 Fanatic). I have collaborated with them before and it’s a genuinely great site with bang up to date information (and Dieter Rencken is a columnist on there this year too). I’ll link my pieces below, updating this post as they are released:
Haas VF-18 – Draws a lot of influence from last year’s Ferrari while furthering its own concepts around the bargeboard area
Williams FW41 – Paddy Lowe spearheads an aggressive change in design philosophy, both mechanically and aerodynamically
Red Bull RB14 – Returning back to their classic design ethos of tight internal packaging could pay huge dividends in 2018
Sauber C37 – Arguably the best looking car on the grid, their innovative approach to cooling could make or break their season
Renault R.S.18 – Don’t be fooled by the launch photos, the R.S.18 is an all-new car from the ground up
Mercedes W09 – Reworked rear suspension and beautifully refined bodywork should reduce the inconsistent performances of 2017
Ferrari SF71H – A promising evolution of last year’s title contender with impressively narrow bodywork achieved through clever duct work
McLaren MCL33 – Renault power now accompanies a very good chassis, featuring clean aerodynamics and revised rear suspension
Toro Rosso STR13 – Outwardly similar to last year’s car, the new STR has had to accommodate a big change internally – the Honda PU
Force India VJM11 – With an extensive aerodynamic package expected for Melbourne, this analysis reviews the little details that have been added
As you may (or may not) know, all of my technical analysis pieces for the 2016 F1 cars are up on F1 Fanatic this year. However I’ve made it really easy for you to find your favourite car/team by linking them all in this post! So here you are – enjoy!
Mercedes W07 – Can the World Champions continue their winning streak?
Ferrari SF16-H – Ferrari’s bold winter strategy could bring them a step closer to the Mercs
Williams FW38 – The FW38 is arguably the most important car for Williams in a long time
Red Bull RB12 – 2016 may be a stop-gap for the Bulls, but don’t discount them for a podium
Force India VJM09 – Will Force India be able to keep pace with the bigger budget teams?
Renault R.S.16 – It’s Renault’s first year back as a Constructor, so how will the R.S.16 fare?
Toro Rosso STR11 – Arguably the boldest car on the grid, Toro Rosso mean business in 2016
Sauber C35 – Sauber have their eyes on 2017, but the C35 is nonetheless a solid evolution
The MP4-30 is very much a revolutionary car for McLaren. Make no mistake, with Honda coming back into Formula 1 as an exclusive supplier to the Woking-based squad, this is a big year for a team that have been busy putting the right people in the right places to succeed again. Aero-wise, Peter Prodromou’s Red Bull influence is already evident on their 2015 challenger and there are plenty of technical details to discuss around the power unit, too.
Starting at the front of the car and it is clear that the entire aerodynamic concept of the MP4-30 is miles from last year’s philosophy. This in turn sets up the rest of the car’s aero characteristics, so you can really see just how much effort has gone into this area to regain ground on the others. Continue reading →
At first glance, you may be fooled into thinking that this year’s Ferrari F1 challenger is no more extraordinary than the (rather ordinary) F14 T of last year. When I first saw the launch photos I was, at first, amazed by the apparent lack of change. Look closer, however, and – especially when comparing it with the 2014 car – the SF15-T becomes more logical and sophisticated.
Ferrari were winless for the first time in two decades in 2014. Ultimately, heads rolled and total restructuring across all departments was made during the early winter. Perhaps the fruits of the upheaval won’t be apparent until 2016 or even 2017, but I get the feeling that the SF15-T is the first Ferrari to really have James Allison’s influence stamped all over it entirely. Continue reading →
After an incredible return to the front end of the grid, Williams hope to consolidate their recent upturn by fighting for more podiums and potentially victories in 2015. Heavy investment (that ultimately put them in debt) last year has indeed paid off as a host of new sponsors join the Martini-striped FW37, a car that looks like a good progression of last year’s concept.
After the first test in Jerez, Williams were joint top of the speed traps (along with Mercedes) despite running on lower power. A recent interview with Pat Symonds revealed that the team have aimed to retain its low-drag characteristics from last year whilst making a good step forward in downforce and early indications suggest this is exactly what they have done. Continue reading →
After reigning supreme for four years on the bounce, Red Bull experienced a rollercoaster 2014. The year started poorly but, despite their problems, they were still able to capitilise on any Mercedes blunders to pick up three victories and finish second in the Constructors’ championship.
However, a lot rides on 2015 being a successful bounce back to form as Renault have effectively jumped on board solely with Red Bull (and Toro Rosso) to create a manufacturer team. With Adrian Newey taking a more relaxed role within the team, this really could be sink or swim time – Newey and his side man Peter Prodromou (who now works as chief aerodynamicist at McLaren) have departed, as has Sebastian Vettel, the man who the entire team was built around.
The RB11 is arguably their boldest car to leave Milton Keynes since the new regulations in 2009. Yes, it is still very much an evolution of last year’s RB10 but there is a lot more ambition about its design. Aware of the fact that Renault have to make up about 20% of their power deficit to even match Mercedes this year, the chassis has a variety of new features aimed at overthrowing the rest of the grid in terms of downforce production. Continue reading →