Red Bull on Tuesday revealed its new car for the 2011 season featuring the number 1 for reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Photographs of the RB7, which is an evolution of the dominant title-winning car of 2010, were published on the team's official website shortly before a blue sheet was pulled off in the Valencia pitlane by Vettel - who will drive the car on Tuesday - and Mark Webber.
Three more new cars broke cover on Tuesday ahead of the opening day of pre-season testing at Valencia.
Williams' FW33, featuring a KERS system designed by the famous team, is painted in interim navy-blue colors ahead of a livery launch at a later date.
It was debuted by Rubens Barrichello shortly after the pitlane opened at 10am. Pastor Maldonado, whose sponsor PDVSA is one of only a few decals on the pre-launch car, will follow on Wednesday.
"We're optimistic. We think this is a good car," said technical director Sam Michael.
Also launched early on Tuesday was the new Mercedes W02, painted in a striking new shinier silver and visibly very different to last year's car.
"The new Silver Arrow has little in common with its immediate predecessor," confirmed Norbert Haug, referring to the 2011 machine that will be debuted by Nico Rosberg.
Another car launched on Tuesday was Toro Rosso's STR6, but it was Fernando Alonso in Ferrari's new F150 with the fastest installation lap so far.
No rain and mild temperatures are forecast for the first day of pre-season testing in Cheste, which is 25 kilometers from the Spanish port city Valencia.
|New Red Bull|
Red Bull Racing launched its 2011 challenger â the RB7 â today at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit near Valencia, Spain. The car, which the team hopes will successfully defend its two Formula One titles, was unveiled in the pit lane at 0830hrs by 2010 World Champion Sebastian Vettel and his teammate Mark Webber. This was followed by a press conference in the Teamâs Energy Station with the two drivers, team principal Christian Horner and chief technical officer Adrian Newey.
The RB7 completed its first lap of the circuit when testing began at 1000hrs. It's just 11 weeks since Sebastian Vettel drove to victory in Abu Dhabi and less than six weeks before the car will contest the Bahrain Grand Prix. This morning was the culmination of months of hard work in Milton Keynes, where every department has been focused on increasing the silverware in the Red Bull Racing trophy cabinets.
Christian Horner commented: â Itâs a great feeling to arrive here and roll out the car with the number one on it as the reigning World Champions, but now the challenge is to keep it. The teamâs been very focused on RB7 over the last few months; Adrian didnât release his drawings any earlier than normal, so the whole design group and production team have done a remarkable job to produce this car in the shortest possible time. Itâs a long season, the longest in F1 history, and we have some great opponents, but we are very motivated and will be working hard to hold on to the two world titles. Iâm sure itâs going to be a fascinating battle.â
Adrian Newey said: âItâs always a special moment when a car runs for the first time. The big challenge for us this year was the reintroduction of the KERS system. Itâs always a challenge to find solutions, which donât compromise the aerodynamics of the car. This season, with McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes all having KERS, we need to get it to work, simply for performance off the line.â
On the day it launched its all-new RB7, Red Bull Racing is pleased to welcome several new partners for 2011, as well as reconfirming continuing and enhanced agreements with many of its existing partners. Red Bull Racingâs Partner portfolio now includes: Total, Rauch, Pepe Jeans, Casio, Singha Beer, FXDD, Geox, Pirelli, Alpinestars, Platform Computing and Siemens.
NEW SILVER ARROW DEBUTED AT VALENCIA
|New Mercedes W02|
The debut of the MGP W02, the new Silver Arrow for the 2011 Formula One World Championship, took place this morning at the Valencia Circuit in Spain with the new challenger unveiled in front of the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team garage by Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.
The result of twelve months intense design and development work, the MGP W02 is the second Silver Arrows car to be launched by MERCEDES GP PETRONAS since the team became the first Mercedes-Benz works outfit since 1955.
The carâs livery is an evolution from its predecessor with a striking high-gloss airbrush effect highlighting the shape of the car. The interaction between the Silver Arrows heritage and the green shading representing the teamâs title partner PETRONAS evokes memories of the first Silver Arrow car of 1934 with a modern touch added by 3D partner logos.
The technical specification of the MGP W02 includes the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery) system which returns to the sport after a one-year absence. The Mercedes KERS system was the first to win a Grand Prix during the 2009 season when KERS made its debut in Formula One. Also new on the car for this season is the adjustable rear wing, operated by the driver to aid overtaking, and Pirelli tires as the Italian manufacturer becomes the sportâs official tire supplier.
The teamâs driver line-up remains unchanged with seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, who achieved the teamâs three podiums in 2010, forming one of the most exciting and talented pairings on the grid.
âFinally the waiting is over and things get started. For us drivers, the break every year is hard to take because the gap between the last race and the first time out on track seems to be never-ending. Even if I have been involved and updated all winter on the developments, and even if I know the improvements are significant, it is still different to see the new car literally for the first time in front of you. You automatically build up this nice pre-start tension. I very much look forward to the new season. We have said it several times already but again, we are really to building up something big together. I am very confident that this season we will be standing on the podium much more regularly; ideally in the middle!â
âIt is always a very exciting time of year to drive the new car for the first time and feel how it performs out on track. This year we have the added challenge of not having an immediate reference due to the change in tire manufacturer to the new Pirelli tires, which felt good during our first try-out at the Abu Dhabi test last year. I am very much looking forward to having a much stronger season than last year and as always, our targets are aggressive. We want to be competing at the front and challenging for race wins. Everyone at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth has worked extremely hard on the new Silver Arrow and we are all looking forward to seeing how it performs.â
Ross Brawn, Team Principal
âIt is always a thrill to see a new car ready to take the track for the first time and this year is no exception. After our first year as the Mercedes-Benz works team, we are now seeing the benefits of our chassis group and our engine group working well together. With a good technical structure and a strengthened race engineering organization, both at the factory and the race track, I am confident that we have done and will continue to do a better job this year in all key areas.
âThe concept development for the MGP W02 started early and we have set challenging targets for the design, combined with a robust plan to ensure that the pace of development can continue throughout the long 2011 season. We have two excellent drivers in Michael and Nico, both of whom capable of winning races in a good car, and we look forward to seeing them push each other and the development of the new Silver Arrow during the season. We want to be setting the standard right from the start but if we are not, we will respond very strongly to get ourselves into the game. Everyone is excitedly waiting to see what the new season will reveal.â
Norbert Haug, Vice-President - Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
âThe new Silver Arrow for the 2011 season has little in common with its immediate predecessor. Our chassis engineers have taken a fairly ruthless approach and were determined to shave off every superfluous gram and millimeter. What emerged from this process is a compact and exquisitely shaped vehicle that introduces a host of sophisticated solutions and truly reflects the enormous dedication of its constructors. We have given it a brand new coat of paint, and we aim to see a smile on the faces of our hard-working drivers and team members that is as bright as our new silver livery.
âNico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher are top drivers who can win races for us, provided we build them the right car. At the same time, our team, like all the other teams, has to deal with complex new tasks. The new generation of tires from Pirelli, and the extent to which the cars and drivers adapt to them, will play a vital role in deciding wins and defeats.
âThe rear wing flap, which can be adjusted under specified conditions, will boost top speed and facilitate overtaking which should open up a new and interesting chapter for Formula One. And there is the return of KERS following a one-year absence at the end of the 2009 season when our Mercedes system recorded a historic first race win. This will play a massive role amongst all of the performance-related components, both for the additional power and for the strategic options it makes available. As in 2009, it is our ambition that Mercedes-Benz builds and runs the best hybrid system and that all three teams which use it benefit significantly from this.
âAfter I have spoken at length here on the many new issues, our target can be described in one short sentence: The new Silver Arrow should not only look first class, but should also be developed to be at the top step-by-step.â
|New Toro Rosso|
Shortly after 9 oâclock this morning, in the pit lane at Valenciaâs Ricardo Tormo circuit, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi pulled the wraps off the STR 6, the car with which Scuderia Toro Rosso will tackle the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship.
While the livery featuring the famous red bull remains pretty much the same, underneath the paintwork, the STR6 is radically different to its predecessor.
This yearâs design is possibly less conservative than in 2010 and naturally takes into account the requirements set out in the technical regulation changes, such as the banning of double diffusers, blown rear wings and adjustable front wings, to be replaced with the arrival of adjustable rear wings and the return, after a one year break, of KERS.
The Joy of Six
Six years down the road, that is very much the teamâs raison dâetre, with Sebastien Buemi still among the youngest men on the grid, while his team-mate, Jaime Alguersuari only turns 21 a few days before the second Grand Prix of this season. Still on the school front, the team will be squeezing a third driver into the cockpit at most of the races, as Red Bull junior, Daniel Ricciardo will be taking on the role of âFriday driver,â standing in for one of our drivers in turn for Free Practice 1. Why are we so keen on this teaching role? Maybe the words Sebastian Vettel, World Champion are explanation enough.
On the commercial front, we can look forward to a second year of support from Money Service Group, while on the technical front, 2011 is the second year that Scuderia Toro Rosso will have designed its car totally in-house, in Faenza and in our Bicester (UK) wind tunnel facility. This yearâs design is possibly less conservative than in 2010 and naturally takes into account the requirements set out in the technical regulation changes, such as the banning of double diffusers, blown rear wings and adjustable front wings, to be replaced with the arrival of adjustable rear wings and the return, after a one year break, of KERS. Toro Rosso did not use the Kinetic Energy Recovery System in 2009 and this year we hope to enjoy the advantage of using the one evolved by our engine supplier Ferrari, who made good use of the power boosting system two years ago. It will of course be linked to the very same specification 056 V8 engine as used by the other F1 entrant that calls itself a âScuderia,â albeit with a prancing horse in its livery, rather than a toro. So there are plenty of unknown factors going into 2011, including a new tire supplier, Pirelli. So thatâs an Italian tire supplier, a car designed and built in Italy, under the supervision of an Italian technical director, running an Italian engine with three drivers who can speak Italian. âNon puĂ˛ che essere un buon segno, che ne dici,â as they say in Faenza.
Official car name: STR6
Engine: Ferrari V8 Type 056 + KERS
Chassis material: Composite monocoque structure
Bodywork material: Carbon fiber composite
Front suspension: Upper and lower carbon wishbones, torsion bar
springs and anti- roll bars, Sachs dampers
Rear suspension: Upper and lower carbon wishbones, torsion bar
springs and anti- roll bars, Sachs dampers
Steering: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Gearbox: Seven-speed hydraulic
Clutch: Sachs pull-type
Pads and discs: Brembo
(radiators, heat exchangers): Scuderia Toro Rosso
Cockpit instrumentation: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Seat belts: OMP .
Steering wheel: Scuderia Toro Rosso
Driver's seat: Carbon fiber construction,
Molded to driverâs shape
Extinguisher system: Scuderia Toro Rosso/FEV
Wheels: Advanti Racing
Fuel cell: ATL
Overall weight: 640 kg (including driver and camera)
In a recent interview, Rubens Barrichello described this yearâs Williams-Cosworth FW33 as âaggressiveâ. Itâs a sentiment shared by technical director Sam Michael, who talks today about the teamâs 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship entry, the Williams Cosworth FW33, as it makes its track debut in Valencia this morning.
âUntil you start testing,â says Sam, âyouâre never sure how youâre going to stack up against the opposition, but weâre optimistic. We think this is a good car, but weâll have a better overall picture in a few weeks time.â
New rules, which were only confirmed by the FIAâs World Motorsport Council in June 2010, compelled Williams F1âs technical team to take an innovative approach to its new car. The ban on double diffusers and the F-duct forced the aerodynamicists to seek new downforce solutions; KERS had to be incorporated into the layout and the team had to prepare for the arrival of a new tire supplier, Pirelli, for the first time in five years.
âThe design of this yearâs car has been pretty smooth,â continues Sam. âWeâve improved our way of working by increasing the communication between the mechanical and aerodynamic departments, and that improved our decision making processes. It allowed us to increase the optimization time spent on each part of the car.â
The car seen at todayâs Valencia test is the first iteration of the FW33. This âlaunch specâ will be replaced by an aero upgrade at the first race in Bahrain and there will be many others during the course of the year. Sam Michael and his technical team expect aerodynamic performance to reach the same levels as 2010, despite there being less aero freedom in the rules.
What follows is a breakdown of the challenges that had to be overcome during the design of the FW33.
Chronology of the FW33âs design
Aerodynamic work started in December 2009, with the mechanical aspects of the FW33 beginning in March 2010. The major layout decisions were finalized in June, following the World Motorsport Councilâs confirmation of the 2011 rule changes, and the new gearbox was on the dyno by September. The launch spec aerodynamic package was completed in November, since when the aero team has focused on the first-race upgrade.
The seven-speed âbox is the smallest ever produced by Williams F1 and works in conjunction with the new pull-rod rear suspension.
âWith gearbox usage increasing from four to five races this year,â says Sam, âreliability is vital. But Iâm not expecting it to be a problem because the new gearbox has the same stiffness characteristics as the old one and the rulebook forces us to be conservative with the internals. For the last few seasons the ratios have to be 12mm wide and 600g per pair, whereas in the past we were down to 8-9mm gears.â
Double diffuser ban
Williams F1 was one of only three teams to introduce a double diffuser at the beginning of 2009. The team optimized the design on last yearâs FW32, but it has now been banned.
âThe double diffuser ban is pretty significant,â says Sam. âNot only can you not open any holes between the reference and step planes, you must have continuous material through all lateral and longitudinal sections. The scope for developing anything on the diffuser is limited, so weâre looking at the centre, rear and front of the floor, as well as the sides of the floor and the little area around the tire spat, all of which are still free.
âThe ban on double diffusers should tighten up the field. It will probably happen straight away, but even if it doesnât and someone comes to the first or second test with something you hadnât thought of elsewhere on the car, itâll be easy to replicate it and get it onto the car quickly because it shouldnât affect the underlying car structure such as the gearbox.â
Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) were permitted in 2009, before being outlawed in 2010. Now theyâre back to stay. The system recovers the kinetic energy present in the waste heat created by the brakes and the exhausts. The energy is then stored in a battery, converted into power and a maximum of 60kw can be called upon by the driver to boost acceleration for up to 6.6s per lap.
Williams Hybrid Power (WHP) is developing a flywheel KERS for use in industry. The system was tested in an F1 car in â09, but the current regulations favor the use of the battery system, which Williams F1 assembles and builds in-house.
âThe rules have changed since KERS was last used in F1,â says Sam. âRe-fuelling is no longer permitted, so the packaging is different now. We have packaged our KERS system entirely inside the carâs survival cell, below the fuel tank, because we didnât want to compromise any of the sidepod area for aerodynamics. The car is longer than last year as a result, but the advantages of doing that outweigh the negatives. Assuming youâre on the weight limit, there is no downside to KERS; itâs worth 0.3s and it gives you a better start.â
Moveable rear wing
One of the most controversial rule changes for 2011 is the introduction of a moveable rear wing. The top element of the wing has to be able to lift at the front until the slot gap is 50mm and itâs hoped that the resultant reduction in drag will increase speeds by up to 15kph. The wingâs sole purpose is to make overtaking easier, but not everyone is convinced.
âI donât think the advantage gained by the rear wing is going to change overtaking dramatically,â says Sam, âbecause there isnât going to be a big enough drag reduction. You only get help from the wing when youâre one second from the car in front, which might not be until halfway down a straight, depending on where the FIA places the timing loop that activates it. That will take a few races to fine tune.
âItâs another thing for the drivers to think about. Our system is powered by a hydraulic actuator, which is activated by a button on the steering wheel. By regulation there is no intermediate position control; itâs either on or off.â
After 14 years at the top echelon, Bridgestone pulled out of F1 at the end of 2010. Replacing the Japanese company as the sportâs sole tire supplier for the next three years is Pirelli, who were last involved in F1 in 1991. The dimensions of the tires will be the same as last year, but the performance characteristics are very different, as Williams F1 discovered during a two-day evaluation of the tires in Abu Dhabi last November.
âThe Abu Dhabi test was quite useful,â says Sam. âThere is a change to the aerodynamics; lots of little details make a difference to the wake of the tire and we learnt a lot about that in Abu Dhabi. The Pirelli rubber deflects and deforms in a different way to that of Bridgestone and it has different mould lines, all of which can affect the tire wake.
âOverall, though, the arrival of Pirelli is not an intimidating change. We didnât change a lot on the mechanical side of the new car after the Abu Dhabi test; the main changes weâve made since then have been aero.â
Weight / weight distribution
The minimum weight of the cars has gone up from 620kg to 640kg this year. KERS has added mass to the car, as has the addition of more anti-penetration zylon panels to the sides of the chassis (they now go all the way to the driversâ feet) and the need for double wheel tethers.
The weight distribution is fixed at 46 percent on the front axle, plus or minus 0.5 percent. Thatâs more rigid than in the past, but Sam doesnât believe itâs a game changer.
âThe weight distribution is pretty close to where we were running on Bridgestones,â he says. âIt wasnât a big issue when it came to designing this car. However, the extra weight has forced us to increase our brake cooling. The cars will be doing higher top speeds due to KERS and the moveable rear wing, and in the slow corners the extra mass will have an influence, so the brakes will have to work harder.â
Unprecedented levels of R&D have gone into this yearâs FW33 and a development program is in place to ensure that upgrades are introduced at each grand prix of the 20-race campaign.
âOur ambition is get back to the front of the grid,â says Frank Williams. âWe know that wonât be easy, but we hope this car will take us closer to the leaders than we were in 2010. As a team, weâre as ambitious now as weâve ever been.â
The team now has 15 days of testing at four different racetracks ahead of the opening race of the season. Valencia, Jerez, Barcelona and Bahrain offer different challenges and varying climates, after which itâll be time to go racing; time to stand up and be counted.
Rubens Barrichello will commence AT&T Williamsâ three day Valencia test on Tuesday 1 February. Pastor Maldonado will assume testing from Wednesday afternoon.
Graphics of the Williams Cosworth FW33, as well as Barrichello and Maldonado helmet visuals, are currently available at www.williams.latphoto.co.uk
An initial selection of imagery of the FW33 in its interim livery will be available by midday, UK time, at the same URL while a comprehensive selection will go online at the end of the dayâs running and be updated over the course of the test. Team imagery is to be used for editorial purposes only