After seeing Williams, Sauber, Renault, Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari unveiled their F1 car for the 2017 season, Force India, McLaren, Red Bull, Haas and Toro Rosso have also unlocked their secrets right before the start of the season’s first test week on 27 February.
Force India unveiled their new VJM10 at Silverstone with Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon on February 22. The livery of the new racer remains much the same as last year’s, but the bodywork is significantly different, with Force India incorporating a thumb-tip nose and the now ever-present sharkfin engine cover, also seen on the new Williams, Sauber and Renault.
While other teams have set their goals for 2017, the team principal Vijay Mallya said it is too early to set targets for 2017.
“Simply repeating our performance level of 2016 will be a big task in itself,” says Mallya. “I don’t want to set goals or targets other than to say that we intend to maintain the momentum we have built up in recent years and carry it into the new season. There are too many unknowns to say more than this.” he added.
Next up is the McLaren MCL32. As widely anticipated, the MCL32 returns to a predominantly orange livery, not seen since 2006 and not raced since 1971.
“The addition of a striking orange and black paint job reinforces the notion that we’re moving away from what immediately preceded it, but it’s the engineering detail on the MCL32 that really impresses me.” said racing director Eric Boullier.
The MCL32 sports Honda’s totally revised RA617H power unit which features a new concept and layout, although it has already run into problems as of the first day of testing in Barcelona – certainly not the most promising sign.
“The main areas of change that we focused on has been to decrease the weight and lower the centre of gravity, so as to improve the balance of the car, while generating more output from the ICE [internal combustion engine],” commented Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda’s Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer.
“Also, owing to the new 2017 regulations fundamentally affecting the design of our new car, Honda has made a lot of changes to accommodate the updated chassis. The team has therefore continued their hard work throughout the winter to find an ideal balance.”
The MCL 32 will be driven by double world champion Fernando Alonso and Belgian newcomer Stoffel Vandoorne.
For the 2017 F1 racing season, Red Bull has revealed the RB13 which features Renault’s massively revised power unit and a number of already deeply debated aero innovations.
The RB13 will be raced by Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.
Presented by Haas team, the Ferrari-powered VF-17 mirrors this year’s new technical regulations. According to Guenther Steiner, Haas team principal, the pedal box of the VF-17 remains the same as last year’s car, but the rest of the chassis is completely new and utilises a freer design language based on what the teamed learned from their rookie F1 season.
“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 tyres, so we needed to have some built-in adjustability.” he says.
Romain Grosjean and new teammate Kevin Magnussen will command the VF17 this season.
The final car unveiled for this year’s F1 season is the Toro Rosso STR12, which was presented by drivers Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat on Sunday evening at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The new Renault-powered machine is lower and wider and considerably sexier than its predecessor.
“In simple terms, the cars are wider, longer, lower, faster, noisier and use bigger tyres, promising more grip, higher cornering speeds and hopefully even closer racing.” commented Franz Tost, Toro Rosso team principal.
The colour scheme of the STR12 remains blue, but much more vibrant than the traditional shade of the team’s parent company Red Bull.
“We really like the first major livery change of our 12 years on the F1 grid and this new look is reflected in our pit garage, which has also been updated to make life easier while working around these much larger cars.” Tost added.
Stay tuned for our thoughts on this week’s test sessions in Barcelona