Five new cars pull back the tarpaulin

As the first day of Winter testing begins in Jerez de la Frontera, most of the teams are showing off their new engineering works. After the releases of the McLaren, Ferrari, Sauber and Toro Rosso vehicles in the last few days, the first day of testing sees most of the other teams debut their new cars.

However, there have been significant delays and troubles for some of the teams.

RED BULL

World Champions Red Bull have finally ‘Unlocked the Bull’ (As their Twitter account proclaimed) and dubbed it the RB10, their tenth car in the sport. It’s a familiar blue and yellow machine with a generous helping of Infiniti branding. Red Bull have unfortunately adopted the Proboscis/ Anteater approach to the nose section, as seen on the cars of many of its competitors, marking this year as one of the very oddest-looking.

However, Red Bull’s nose is the only team so far to have build a sleek nose with a clog-shaped growth underneath to satisfy the regulation of the tip being 185 mm from the ground. It will be interesting to see which of the new designs is most effective

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New signing Daniel Ricciardo looked as happy as always; his warm Aussie grin an ever-present feature since he joined the grid in 2011. He talked about his anticipation of a first year with a big team:

“I think the season ahead is going to be very exciting but very challenging. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for a few months now, that’s for sure. For me, it’s another big step in my career but with all the rule changes for the team as well, it’s exploring new ground. So challenging for everyone, but we’re all ready and excited.” [Source: Sky Sports]

FORCE INDIA

The Silverstone-based team were next to reveal their sleek design in the flesh. Or Carbon fibre, as it were. Force India had already released an image of their car on Wednesday, January 22, but it was of a side-profile nature and did not distinguish whether or not the car had the nose proboscis.

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Sadly, it does, and it does not look quite right on the car. Nevertheless, Hulkenberg and Perez are eager to get the car up and running.

The car’s livery has taken quite a different form from the familiar (and getting slightly dull) white with orange accents. Instead, we are left with the delicious black and orange livery with a dash of white and sliver of green as seen in the photo from last week. For me, it is the best livery on the grid and has shades of the Arrows cars from the early 2000s.

MERCEDES

Eager faces were the order of the day for Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as they climbed aboard the Mercedes W05 for the first time on Tuesday morning. The Silver Arrow is undoubtedly the best-looking car of the field, with a sweeping nose and sleek design. No horrific protrusions to speak of.

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The car is classic Mercedes silver, with a darker shade on the engine cover and airbox. The Petronas branding on the sidepods appears to be in a different font to last year. The turquoise-green accents remain behind the Petronas logo and there are a pair of curious little winglets on the nose which appear to be aerodynamic deflectors.

The front wing is extensively complicated, with what looks like FIVE elements on each side, as well as the main plane.

The car was unveiled by the two drivers along with Paddy Lowe and Toto Wolff early on Tuesday morning before Hamilton took the car out for its first laps at 9am.

CATERHAM

Caterham had some technical glitches in the morning and didn’t release the car onto the track until way past 2 O’clock. The green machine is perhaps the most striking of all the new cars so far.

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“Caterham looks angry. A nose like a shovel with a shillelagh strapped underneath.” pointed out Formula One Broadcaster Will Buxton. He then added:

“I quite like the look of the Caterham. It’s a bit weird, but it’s kind of cool. In an abstract way. God, I hope it’s fast.”

Buxton refers of course to the fact that Caterham are yet to score a point, as are fellow ‘Young Team’ Marussia. Caterham CEO Tony Fernandes is also aware of this and as I mentioned in an article last week, is growing impatient with the lack of success in the sport thus far.

The car is now devoid of any yellow patches that might have tied it to its old ‘Lotus’ name, a hue that has gradually reduced over the last two years since switching to their current name. The all green-machine sees more prominent sponsorship from Airbus, but by a long long way, the most noticeable feature is of course the front nose area.

There have been cars with overhanging protrusions (McLaren, Williams, Sauber). There have been cars with phallic extensions past the more obvious nose structure (Toro Rosso, Force India, Red Bull). There have been cars with lovely, sweeping architecture (Mercedes, Ferrari). There’s even been a car with two protruding tusks. Now, we have an integral narrow protrusion connecting the ‘Actual Nose’ and the front wing. While not the best looking car in history, it certainly does give you an insight into the minds of the engineers, and provides a great spectacle with the huge variety of interpretations of the design,

WILLIAMS

Williams were the second team to reveal their car online, in some badly-rendered computer mockups. They displayed the overhanging nose tip and modern new logo for the team. Finally, well after everyone else on Day 1 of the test, the car broke cover and was shown to the world. There was no official ‘launch’, merely a fire-up and a few laps from Valtteri Bottas.

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As you can see, Williams are running their classic ‘Heritage’ dark blue livery, with which they have tested for thirty years. Their actual livery for the season is not yet clear.

Charlie Eustice

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