Monthly Archives: February 2013

Mercedes unveil W04 at Jerez

With only a day to go until the first test session of the season, Mercedes have finally shown off their W04 car, along with new driver Lewis Hamilton.

The W04, arguably one of the most eagerly-awaited releases of the off-season, is an evolution of the erratic W03, which won races at the start of 2012, but quickly slid down the order.

The stepped nose is covered by an unusually smoothened panel, and the nose is at its widest at the end, similar to the Sauber C32. The exhausts and rear of the car have been redesigned over the winter, with many new visible additions to the diffuser area of the car.

The livery is virtually identical to last year’s, save for the addition of phone manufacturer Blackberry as a sponsor.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg attended the event, with Hamilton getting his first opportunity to drive a Mercedes car.

First pictures of Red Bull RB9

Red Bull are the latest team to reveal their 2013 F1 car, called the RB9.

Pictures are hard to come by at the moment, since the “reveal” was simply a 3-minute video, and the team are currently doing their best to stop any photography of the actual car.

A screenshot from the launch video is a start though. We can see that the blue on the sidepods has been replaced with purple, and an even more aggressive stepped nose has been adopted.

The rear of the car is rather similar to the 2012 model, and Adrian Newey has referred to it as an “evolutionary” car.

More details will be added as they emerge.

Sauber C32 unveiled

Sauber are the fifth team to show off the 2013 challenger, called the C32.

The car was shown off via online stream, with the team taking the covers off the C32 in their Hinwil base. The most notable change is that of the livery, which changes to 90% grey instead of white and grey.

The stepped nose is covered by the vanity panel as expected, and it is believed that the C32 runs pushrod suspension.

More details will be added soon.

Force India release VJM06, but confusion reigns over second driver

Force India followed Ferrari’s suit in showing off their 2013 car today – theirs is called the VJM06.

The car was launched via an online feed, but a large amount of viewers – myself included – were unable to watch it due to the page not loading, presumably due to high demand.

Technical

As expected, the VJM06 builds upon the strong points of the VJM05. However, they appeared to have taken a new direction on the nosecone, which is wider at the end than it is in the middle.

Some have noted that this may to be to deflect air around the car, instead of over it. The raised section of the nose has been shielded by the modesty panel, meaning that only Lotus so far has not used the device.

Interestingly, much of the rear of the car was painted completely black, probably in order to hide their exhaust solution until Jerez testing. However, amateur photos at the event have shown that the exhaust air is directed towards the wheels as opposed to the diffuser.

No news about second driver

While Paul di Resta was on hand to pose in some photos, there was no statement from the team regarding his teammate.

Force India have confirmed that they will not confirm their second driver until testing begins, and they may not even make an announcement until the second test in Barcelona.

It is believed that Adrian Sutil, Jaime Alguersuari, Bruno Senna and Jules Bianchi are still all in the running for the race seat.

Giedo van der Garde promoted to second driver for Caterham

2012 test driver Giedo van der Garde has been promoted to a race seat for 2013 by Caterham.

After the departure of Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov, there was a huge roster of drivers looking to take one of the last remaining seats before the 2013 season started. It was believed that Adrian Sutil, Jaime Alguersuari, Bruno Senna and Luiz Razia were all in contention.

However, the team has made the decision to promote their test driver to join Charles Pic.

Van der Garde won two races in the 2012 GP2 championship, and previously finished 3rd in the 2011 GP2 Asia Series. He has also won the  2008 Formula Renault 3.5 championship. It is unknown whether the Dutch driver brings sponsorship to the backmarker team.

Ferrari launch F138 in Maranello

Ferrari revealed their 2013 challenger, called the F138, in team headquarters in Maranello today.

Visually, the most noticeable addition is the FIA-approved modesty panel to the front nosecone, overall improving the look of the car. Otherwise, it’s a case of evolution over revolution, as Ferrari attempt to start the year more consistently than they did 2012.

The name F138 is a reference to both the current year, and the final use of the V8 engines in Formula 1.

Technical

Ferrari have taken the risky option of splitting their development team into two – one half working on the F138, and the other half already getting started on the 2014 machine.

Pullrod suspension has been retained at both ends of the car, a move that has been copied by other teams this year.

The air intakes and sidepods have been adjusted to allow for modifications at the rear, most likely in the form of revised exhausts.

Testing schedule

Felipe Massa will debut the F138 at Jerez on the 5th-8th February, with Alonso missing the first test entirely.

The Spaniard will then return on the 19th at the Circuit de Catalunya to complete aerodynamic checks at the second test.

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