Formula 1 season is underway. Challengers made their debuts earlier this year, and there is a lot to look forward to! Here are the most notable F1 car launches this year.
The Haas 2018 challenger made its debut on Valentine’s Day. The VF-18 is the third evolution of the model for Haas. Last year’s VF-17 carried the Haas F1 team to a respectable eighth place finish. “The biggest part of the car’s evolution was the addition of the halo,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “It took quite a bit of study by the aerodynamicists, but the designers had to work hard to modify the chassis so the halo could survive the mandated loads. The total minimum weight of the car increased because of the halo, and there’s a higher center of gravity simply because of the halo’s position. But, everyone is in the same boat.”
The new partnership between Alfa Romeo and Sauber brings us the C37. The designers focused on an aerodynamic concept that is different from last year’s Sauber C36-Ferrari. The C37 ditched the shark fin and T-wings and added improved aerodynamic features. Jörg Zander, Technical Director states, “We are positive that the new concept offers us more opportunities and will help us to make improvements during the course of the season. The 2018 Ferrari engine will also give us a boost in terms of our performance.”
— Renault Sport F1 (@RenaultSportF1) February 20, 2018
Renault Sports One Formula Team fans were given a unique close up of the RS18 when it was unveiled. A spectacular hologram projection of the car rotated 360 degrees to give racing fans a memorable preview. “The success of the programme in just two years is testament to the resilient plan laid down early in the creation of the team and the strong job done by Cyril and the entire Renault Sport Racing teams. I am convinced year three will take us one step closer to the long-term aim: winning races and challenging for championships,”says Renault Sport Racing President Jérôme Stoll.
Ferrari’s 64th single seater car design to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship is the SF71H. Wider tires and major aerodynamic modifications should increase the performance of this vehicle. According to Ferrari, “The most obvious element to catch the eye is the halo. After two years of on-track testing, it has now entered the rule book. It weighs around 7kg, plus fittings and this has only been partly compensated for with an increase of 5kg – from 728 to 733 – to the minimum car weight set in the 2018 regulations.”
The Toro Rosso STR13 was revealed at the Circuit de Catalunya, where drivers Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley got behind the wheel. As the only team working with Honda, the partnership “opened a lot of possibilities, especially on the technical side with the engine installation” said Franz Tost of the Toro Rosso Team. “For Toro Rosso it’s a big advantage to work together with such a big company as Honda.”
McLaren’s much anticipated new Formula 1 car is the MCL33. This model marks the first time in their 52 year history that they have run a Renault engine in their car. The car has a striking papaya orange and blue color scheme that was used in McLaren’s first Formula 1 race 50 years ago. Many of the updates to the vehicle revolve around optimizing the packaging for the new Renault engine and incorporating the new halo device. Zak Brown, executive director of the McLaren Technology Group, says that “we definitely view 2018 as the year when McLaren will move closer to the front, fighting teams and drivers as we improve our fortunes. We have an excellent team, a new engine partner in Renault and a host of fantastic new partnerships.”
So, which of these F1 car launches are you most excited about? Can’t get enough of fast cars? Learn about the most famous F1 drivers of all time here.