Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren And Toro Rosso Reveal Their New F1 Cars
Graham Read, Formula 1 Correspondent
Following the initial flurry of 2018 Formula 1 new car launches the sport’s two big hitters, Mercedes and Ferrari, have now revealed their title challengers, as have F1’s sleeping giant McLaren and Toro Rosso. Let’s take a closer look.
Mercedes AMG Petronas
The Mercedes team has dominated Formula 1 since the beginning of the current hybrid power unit era in 2014, winning every Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship. Their new car, the W09, was revealed at a chilly Silverstone yesterday and it will surely be as competitive as ever. The outfit has opted for continuity on the driver front, with four time champion Lewis Hamilton again being partnered by Finland’s Valtteri Bottas.
Commenting on the aesthetically unattractive Halo head protection addition, team chief Toto Wolff expressed how unimpressed he was with this solution, joking that if he were given a chainsaw he would cut it off!
Ferrari is the only team to have competed in Formula 1 since it began back in 1950 and yesterday they debuted their new offering, the SF71H, at their Maranello base in northern Italy. Like Mercedes, the iconic outfit has chosen to retain last year’s driver pairing, German multiple champion Sebastian Vettel and the Finn Kimi Räikkönen. For the overall good of F1 it is vital that at least this Ferrari and the new Red Bull car are capable of providing Mercedes with stiff opposition from the first race onwards.
The Woking based McLaren team has a glorious F1 heritage, but times have been tough for the last three seasons in particular as their Honda power unit underperformed. For 2018 they have switched to Renault power for their new car, the MCL33, and are very hopeful that this will signal a significant improvement in their fortunes. The car, revealed only this morning, features an eye-catching predominantly papaya orange livery, a colour synonymous with the team’s early days in the sport.
This outfit is also retaining their 2017 driver duo, with Spanish double F1 champion Fernando Alonso lining up alongside Belgium’s promising Stoffel Vandoorne. Alonso will dovetail his latest F1 campaign with also driving for Toyota in this year’s World Endurance Championship.
Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda
Toro Rosso is the sister team to the Aston Martin Red Bull outfit and its official name has been amended for this season to reflect its Red Bull parentage and also its new Honda power unit supplier. Their intention had been to reveal their new car, the STR13, at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 26th February, but, after photos of the car during a private filming session at the Misano circuit in Italy appeared on social media on the Wednesday before, the team immediately released its own official image of its new challenger.
They must be hoping that Honda can provide them with greater power and better reliability that the Japanese company gave McLaren for the previous three years. The car will again be piloted by young French racer Pierre Gasly and former Red Bull junior driver from New Zealand Brendon Hartley, both of whom made their F1 debuts during 2017.
This leaves just the Sahara Force India F1 team to uncover its new car and this is scheduled to take place in the Barcelona circuit’s pit lane immediately prior to the start of the first day of pre-season testing on Monday 26th February.
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Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren And Toro Rosso Reveal Their New F1 Cars, 23rd February 2018, 14:26 PM