Ferrari unveil the F150 – 2011 F1 Car

Ferrari are the first to launch their 2011 F1 car at their base in Maranello.

View the selection of launch photos below – Click thumbnails for bigger images.

The car was launched with several 2010 aerodynamic parts visible including the front and rear wings.

The team’s new Scuderia Ferrari logo features prominently on the engine cover

The new car – named to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the reunification of Italy – will be given a brief run at the team’s Fiorano test track before being flown to Valencia in Spain for the first pre-season test, which starts on 1 February

Alonso will drive for the first two days in Valencia, with team-mate Massa taking over for the final day.

But a number of new parts will be added to the F150 between then and the first race.

They plan to run an updated 2010 car there before taking the new car to the second test in Jerez on 10-13 February in the hope the extra few days aerodynamic research will give them an advantage.

The next teams to unveil their cars are Renault, Sauber and Lotus on 31 January, with world champions Red Bull, Mercedes and Toro Rosso following suit on 1 February.

McLaren are the only top team who will not have a new car at the Valencia test.

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Red Bull launch date of RB7 confirmed

Red Bull launching the last years 2010 championship winning RB6 Car

Red Bull Racing will unveil its new RB7 shortly before the first official test of 2011 kicks off in Valencia next month.

The reigning world champions announced via their Twitter feed on Thursday that the car will be rolled-out to the media and public on the morning of the first test on February 1.

The team wrote via its redbullf1spy feed: “You heard it here first. The RB7 will be launched at 8.30am on February 1. In Valencia. In the pit lane. Quietly excited…”

Drivers showing off there cars in Bahrain last year ready for the 2010 Season to start

2010 title rivals Ferrari will be the first team to hold their launch, on January 28.

Sauber and Renault are next up, with launches in Valencia on January 31, whilst Toro Rosso, Mercedes and Williams will join Red Bull to reveal new cars on February 1.

McLaren, meanwhile, will launch the MP4-26 on February 4

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Hamilton first to drive new McLaren

Hamilton will be first to try out the new MP4-26

McLaren have revealed Lewis Hamilton will be at the wheel of their 2011 car when it makes its track debut at Jerez on February 10. Hamilton will sample the MP4-26 on the first day of the test before handing the car over to team mate Jenson Button for the second day of running at the Spanish circuit.

Unlike most of their rivals, McLaren are to field an interim car during the opening pre-season test at Valencia from February 1-3. Hamilton, Button and tester Gary Paffett are all expected to drive the MP4-25 during the three-day session, as they try out the new Pirelli tyres with a familiar set-up.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will both get 5 days each of testing out the new McLaren MP4-26

The team will then journey to Germany to unveil their 2011 challenger at a special event in Berlin on February 4, ahead of the four-day Jerez test a week later.

McLaren’s pre-season test schedule:
Valencia (tyre test using MP4-25 chassis)
February 1 – Gary Paffett
February 2 – Lewis Hamilton
February 3 – Jenson Button

Jerez (first scheduled run for MP4-26)
February 10 – Lewis Hamilton
February 11 – Jenson Button
February 12 – Lewis Hamilton
February 13 – Jenson Button

Could the battle in the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix between Button and Hamilton become more persistant in 2011

February 18-19 – Jenson Button
February 20-21 – Lewis Hamilton

March 3 – Jenson Button
March 4 – Lewis Hamilton
March 5 – Jenson Button
March 6 – Lewis Hamilton

Info from

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Lowe: Movable rear wing will be a success

Lewis Hamilton in the 2010 MP4-25 McLaren car at the Belgium GP

McLaren engineering director Paddy Lowe says he is confident that the introduction of moveable rear wings will be a success in F1 in 2011.

The decision to bring in the device in an attempt to boost overtaking is one of the major changes for the new year, which also includes the return of KERS and the switch from Bridgestone tyres to Pirelli.

The new rear wing is being viewed as key to improving the show in F1 and Lowe admitted it was the part that gave teams the biggest challenge when it comes to designing its 2011 cars.

“I think the most interesting and challenging – and they really go together in the technical domain for me – change is the adjustable rear wing, which is intended to add overtaking interest to the races,” he told a recent Vodafone McLarenMercedes phone-in. “We can use it whenever we like in qualifying, much like we used the F-flap last year. That as a new package has presented interesting opportunities to optimise and has set some technical challenges, which has been good fun.

“It has a lot more leverage [than the adjustable front wing]. The adjustable front wing was introduced along with the OWG (Overtaking Work Group) regulations in 2009 and it was really only intended as a mild adjustment for a driver to trim the balance of the car when in the wake and while attempting to overtake another car. I was a member of the OWG and we actually put it in there as an insurance policy as we were all a bit worried that if we had got it wrong the car would be very unbalanced in the wake and possibly have oversteer.

“As it turned out nobody used the front wing for that purpose at all, we only really used it to make mild adjustments during the race for balance. So we all agreed last year that we would get rid of it in the interests of simplicity and cost saving because it would be the same for everybody. It will add a bit more of a challenge in the race, in terms of balance, because now we will have to make any front-wing adjustments in the pit stop.”

The idea behind the moveable rear wings is that drivers will be able to use the part in order to try and make up positions on track, although Lowe said the FIA needed to clarify exactly how drivers can make the most of the system when they hit the track for the new campaign.

FIA will have control as to when drivers can activate the movable rear wing

“I think it will be quite exciting,” he said. “The one control that the FIA have is for each circuit they can set the points in the deployment straights at which you are allowed to press the button. So, for instance, you might be allowed to press it for the last 300m of the main straight until the braking point. I think the FIA have it within their power to manage the situation so that the authority of the system makes sense and that may take one or two races to settle down. But they can lengthen or shorten that amount of straight on a race-by-race basis so that will give some ability to make it work in the way we intended it to.”

Lowe also confirmed that the moveable rear wing won’t be fitted to McLaren’s car for the opening test of the year, with the team planning to run a 2010 chassis fitted with a number of development parts.

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High Court to hear Lotus naming battle

Lotus logo

Two teams are bidding to line up as Lotus on the Formula One grid for 2011.

The legal battle over the use of the Lotus name is to be heard in the London Courts on January 24th.

Originally it was not thought the battle would be heard until early summer when we would be half way through the season but having the Court hearing at the end of January will mean the season could start with only one team being able to use the Lotus name.

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Lotus will come back stronger in 2011

Jarno Trulli behind the wheel in the 2010 Lotus - Abu Dhabi

After a succesful first season finishing 10th in 2010, and being the best of the best of the “new” teams, Team Lotus insist there expectations are high for 2011. Jarno Trulli claims that the row over the Lotus name has helped to spur the team on.

Both teams will be the closest watche rivals in 2011 with no-one having much idea into where Team Lotus and Lotus Renault GP will end up on the grid. Both teams will use Renualt engines but Team Lotus have a deal with Red Bull to use their gearboxes for 2011.

Mike Gascoyne (Chief Technical Officer of Team Lotus) said: “This year’s car is a much more contemporary design. The car really will be a midfield runner. It’s a modern F1 car.”

Jarno Trulli speaks of his thoughts about the situation

“I think it has motivated a lot of people here,” he said. “That stretches from the management like Tony Fernandes through to the shareholders, who have been through a lot of difficulties, and down to the last members of the team.

“What Tony did was unique. He has worked hard to bring the Lotus name back on track, which no-one had done for many years. He also just didn’t go out there and buy a team.

“He and Mike [Gascoyne] made up the team from scratch – which comes from the Lotus mentality. It would have been easier to buy a team, but that is not what Colin Chapan did. He drew his own and manufactured his own F1 cars.

The 2011 Renault Lotus GP livery on the 2010 Renualt F1 car, This is not the 2011 Team Lotus Livery.

“They can argue and they can go to court, but at the end of the day the people understand what Team Lotus is and why it is doing what it is doing.”

We know that Group Lotus is going to sponsor the Renault team, and that is a very different thing – we have to make that very clear.

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Pirelli test wet tyres at night in AbuDhabi

Formula 1’s first wet weather night test at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit was being tested by Pirelli, with Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel of Pirelli’s test car. The tyre manufacturer is conducting six hours of testing for two nights with the Abu Dhabi circuit soaked with water to allow development work on its wet and intermediate tyres.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery explained why the firm chose a night test in the Middle East for its pre-season wet running.

Pedro De La Rosa testing the Pirelli tyre's at a water soaked Abu Dhabi track. The car being used is Pirelli's Toyota TF109

The reason we’re here is because it’s warmer,” he said. “Of course we could find plenty of wet testing in Europe at Valencia, Silverstone or elsewhere, but in Europe when it’s wet it’s also cold.”

There are wet races in F1 in Asia – Malaysia, Japan, possibly Singapore – and those places are different, the ambient temperature stays very high even when it’s raining.”

“The compounds are extremely sensitive to temperatures in wet conditions, so this provides different information for us on competitive use.”

“And we’re testing at night time because we don’t want the sun to evaporate the water on the track.”

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