Today, tues 1st February, has seen the start of the first pre-season test in Valencia. This also meant that Red Bull, Mercedes, Torro Rosso and Williams have launched their 2011 challengers today as to give their car exposure without having to manage a large media event a la Ferrari.
With the new launches today, the most notable is probably the Williams FW33 which has been launched with an ‘interim livery’. The car is an absolute beauty with its very dark blue, almost black paint and the large ‘retro’ numbers on the side, however I am worried that this will be far from the ‘full’ livery for the 2011 season as this car really is something to behold.
Red Bull and Torro Rosso’s new cars look remarkably similar to their 2010 cars in livery, however there are other large changes, most prodiminanlty the difference between the length of the ‘nose’ of the car and the rear/main body of the car. To understand this difference look at Craig Scarsborough’s blog to get the full technical layout of the new cars.
One of the most notable differences between the cars is the large step in different liveries, we have already seen Renault movement from the Bumble Bee to the new JPS Lotus inspired livery, but the change in the Mercedes to include more blue makes the car a much nicer sight for the F1 fans, and allows some more obvious distinctions between teams. This development in the paintwork on a car I hope will be followed by Force India and Virgin Racing, although Ferrari have not changes much of theirs apart from putting a flag on the back of their rear wing.
One of the main talking points is the introduction of a movable rear wing to aid overtaking. This video released by Sauber shows us just how it works, and Ferrari show us how to get very close to a corner with the wing still ‘open’.
Whilst todays times have given an indication that Vettel is a very quick driver, not too much can be taken from this as we do not know what fuel loads they were running during the test.