No less than three Formula 1 teams launched their 2017 challengers on the 26th of February.
On the eve of the commencement of official testing in Barcelona, Spain Red Bull Racing, Haas F1, and Scuderia Toro Rosso took the opportunity to launch their new-for-2017 F1 cars.
Red Bull Racing’s RB13
Red Bull was first out of the gate with a short and sweet pre-recorded clip released on several social media sites. The premise of Red Bull’s launch video centered on superstition as 2017 car is the 13th built by the Austrian team. The RB13 retains, mostly, the same livery as in 2016 with subtle changes including a bit more red than is normally present. Nevertheless, the matte finish, introduced, in 2016 has been maintained for the new season. Along with the launch of the RB13 the team touted a new hashtag playing up the connotations of the number 13.
“We are like a swan on the surface and paddling furiously underneath but that is the same as every preseason so generally we are on target,” said Team Principal Christian Horner.
Chief Engineering Officer Rob Marshall said: “The car is expected to be between three and five seconds a lap faster and most of that gain will come through cornering speeds where the increased downforce on the car will mean the car will go around the corners quicker.”
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) February 26, 2017
Haas F1 Launches the VF-17
In their second year in Formula 1 and their first rule change, the Haas F1 team had a monumental task ahead of them in developing their 2017 car.
After starting very well in 2016 their season tapered off and although picking up some points they did not finish the 2016 season as strongly as they started.
The 2017 car with some major changes seems promising for the Kanapolis based team in their mid field fight.
“I think the pedal box is the same, but all the rest is very different from last year’s car,” said Guenther Steiner, Team Principal of Haas F1.
“You always try to make a faster car, which is normally a lighter car. Now we can put on more ballast and get better weight distribution.
“The aero is completely new, as are the tires, so we needed to have some built-in adjustability.
“Aesthetically, the car has a more aggressive look. It’s lighter and more aerodynamically efficient. Everything we learned from our first car has been applied to our new car.”
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) February 26, 2017
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s STR12
Toro Rosso was the last team to launch their car for the 2017 season. The launch took place at the Circuit de Catalunya a day before the first day of the pre-season test.
Toro Rosso unveiled their new car the STR12 with a striking new blue and chrome livery. We at F1Madness think that this is the best livery from all the teams.
Speaking about the new car, Technical Director James Key says that the 2017 rule changes are the biggest changes he’s seen on a car that he can remember.
“In my 20 years in F1 it’s the biggest chassis change I can remember,” said James Key.
“In ’98 the narrow track had just arrived and there were various tweaks up to 2009, when a larger change occurred, but other than the front wing it was still based around principles that we knew. These rules however, include a track change, significantly different tyres and a new aero regulation as well.
“From a chassis point of view it’s all encompassing with a lot of new things to learn.”
Key believes that teams now have more aerodynamic freedom with car development this season.
“It’s nice to have a bit more freedom. We probably haven’t had as many aerodynamic tools to play with since 2008, But then the rules tightened up in 2009 and even further in 2014. Now, some freedom has returned and that’s a great challenge for the aero department.”
Toro Rosso are expecting more this year after switching to Renault Power Units and feel that after last years turn around they can finish higher in the points this season.
— Toro Rosso (@ToroRossoSpy) February 26, 2017