Formula 1 2016 Testing

Hello F1 fans! F1 season is right around the corner. I can’t wait until BBC F1’s Ben Edwards says “Lights out away we go!” like he does at the start of every race. Testing in Barcelona concluded 3 days ago. Lets have a look at all the teams on the starting grid.

                           MERCEDES 

CAR: MERCEDES W07 HYBRID

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Here is the car the defending champions have entered to retain their title. Last year, they were pretty much invincible! You can’t get much better than that. This car has lots of minor changes on the inside. They will remain the team to beat.

                                    FERRARI

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CAR: FERRARI SF16-H

This is the team that will most likely give Mercedes a run for its money. The have returned with even further innovation from last year. Just like Red Bull, they have a short nose. The front wing is the same as last year’s. Ferrari have also gone with a higher and straighter body shape. Sebastian Vettel is very confident, aiming for a fifth title this year. It’s going to be a fantastic season.

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The 2016 car (top) compared to last year’s car (bottom)

                            WILLIAMS

CAR: WILLIAMS FW38

 

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Last year’s best of the rest after Mercedes and Ferrari. However it will be harder this year with all the steps that the other teams have taken. They have retained last year’s white and black livery. The car has all the same attributes, especially straight line speed, but has also added a few small updates.

                                         RED BULL

CAR:RED BULL RB12

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Red Bull have had a very difficult last 2 seasons after winning 4 straight constructors championships from 2010 to 2013. The team almost split up with their engine supplier Renault, but had to retain the deal for 2016. The new engine is branded “Tag Heuer”. They have struggled with the hybrid engine regulations that were enforced in 2014. Red Bull expect  season of two halves. They hope they can make some real progress mid season, around the summer break. They have a different livery from last years car. I like the other design, because it looks more metallic.

FORCE INDIA

CAR: FORCE INDIA MJVO9

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Force India made great progress towards the end of last year and are hoping to pick up where they left off. The team will retain lat year’s drivers, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. The team have made lots of aerodynamic upgrades, with hours of wind tunnel testing.

TORRO ROSSO

CAR: TORRO ROSSO STR11

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This team has a very bright future, with their two young second year drivers, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. They had the second highest number of laps completed in testing, only behind Mercedes. Toro Rosso have also changed their engine supplier from Renault to Ferrari.

MCLAREN HONDA

CAR: MCLAREN MP431

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I feel bad for Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. These drivers had a unreliable,slow and bad sounding car to deal with for a whole year! It is probably very different from Alonso’s glory days at Renault. Not blame the team though. The team’s engine supplier, Honda had it’s first season in F1 in years. McLaren had an all work no play offseason, developing the engine’s ERS (energy recovery system) and the reliability of the car. The team are expecting a much improved car, getting them to the middle of the pack.

                                         RENAULT

CAR: RENAULT RS16

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This is the team’s first season since 2010 when Robert Kubica was driving for the team. I was only 5 at the time, and I was a really big fan of him. They are hoping to emanate their title winning years of 2005 and 2006. The team had a long two sessions of testing, gathering endless information and data. We are going to see how competitive they are at the first race in Australia.

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Fernando Alonso won 2 championships with Renault.

SAUBER 

CAR: SAUBER C35

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At the start of the season, Sauber were pretty competitive with top 10 finishes in Malaysia and China. However, as other teams updated and developed their cars, the dropped to the back of the field competing with McLaren Honda. They have made lots of big changes, and are hoping to be in the midfield in the mix with Toro Rosso.

HAAS

CAR: HAAS VF16

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The American team that is new to the sport have ventured in to the world of Formula 1. They were very successful in Nascar racing. They have ambitious expectations, hoping to be in front of Manor, Sauber and McLaren Honda. Testing for them wasn’t the best, with a few problems with some of the parts on the car. We have to see how they do at the opening round in Australia.

                                 MANOR

CAR: MANOR MRT05_88393857_manor1.jpg

The team was almost wiped out in 2014, but managed to be on the grid in 2015 despite all their data on the team computers being deleted. They have a very aggressive car and are expecting to climb the ranks of the grid with their Mercedes power unit. The team’s technical director, John Mcquillam says it is the best car they have ever built.

 

That concludes the post. All the teams had a very busy offseason developing their cars and hoping it pays off. We’ll see the outcome of the first race in less than 2 weeks. I am really looking forward to it.

 

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