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F1 2020 - new car releases.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, Feb 6, 2020.

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    Haas unveil new VF-20 car for 2020 Formula 1 season
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    By Andrew Benson

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    Haas unveil their new VF-20 car for 2020
    US-based Haas have become the first Formula 1 team to release images of their new car for the 2020 season.

    Haas' traditional grey, white and red livery returns after last year's public falling-out with a title sponsor.

    And the team hope it can lead to a revival after dropping to ninth in the constructors' championship last term.


    Team owner Gene Haas said: "We hope the VF-20 will return us to the kind of 2018 form when we finished fifth - 2019 was a tough season to endure."

    Haas' form fluctuated dramatically through last season, with the car competitive in the midfield some weekends, and close to the slowest in the field on others.

    Sometimes, its pace was dramatically different from qualifying to race on the same weekend, the car capable of qualifying in the top 10 before falling backwards dramatically on Sundays.

    Haas, whose machine tools company funds a large part of the team's budget, said: "We've been through a real education process, one that comes to all Formula One teams at some stage. I'm trusting we've learned from those lessons and have applied that knowledge into making the VF-20 a more competitive entry.

    "It's important to me that we're back in the mix and consistently scoring points. We certainly have the capability and we've proved as an organisation we can do it."

    Team boss Guenther Steiner, who will be under pressure to ensure the team's performance moves forward this season, said: "With the regulations remaining stable into this season, it's allowed us to improve our understanding of the car and to scrutinise ourselves more in order to find solutions and applications to channel into the design of the VF-20.

    "Last year was definitely a setback, one I would never have asked for, but you learn from such situations - we all have. Everybody at the team was forced to look at themselves and understand what they can do better."

    The car, which is an obvious evolution of last year's, will be officially unveiled on the first morning of pre-season testing, at Spain's Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on 19 February.

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    Ferrari F1 2020 launch: 'We have taken design to the extreme,' says team boss
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    Ferrari were second to Mercedes in last year's constructors' championship
    Ferrari have unveiled a 2020 Formula 1 car that team boss Mattia Binotto says takes design to the "extreme" as they seek to challenge for the title.

    The Italian team struggled last year, winning only three races as Mercedes dominated, but Binotto hopes they can take a step forward this season.

    He said: "It may look similar to last year's, but it's completely different.


    "We have been as extreme on the concept as we could, to look for the maximum aerodynamic performance first."

    Aerodynamics was the area in which Ferrari lagged most in 2019, their car very fast in a straight line, partly down to the most powerful engine, but also because it lacked downforce compared to Mercedes and Red Bull.

    Binotto said this had been a major focus for the new car, which has been called the SF1000, to reflect the fact that Ferrari will celebrate their 1,000th World Championship grand prix this season.

    "[We have been] trying to maximise the downforce level, so the car has been packaged to have a very narrow and slim body shape - that is quite visible," Binotto said.

    "We have worked with all the components. The suspension has been designed to have more adaptability on track. We put in a lot of effort to keep the weight down."

    Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who starts the season under pressure after being out-performed by team-mate Charles Leclerc last year, said: "A lot of hours have gone into the car. We had the opportunity to see a direct comparison to last year and you can really spot the difference, especially down to packaging at the back. We found some clever solutions to do that.

    "It is also a little bit more red than last year, so I think it looks great.

    "I think it is a step forward and I hope it feels like that when I drive it. There is a whole team working right now to improve it."

    Despite the tightly packaged rear, attention will also focus on the front wing, where Ferrari have stuck with the philosophy they pursued last year, which differs from that of Mercedes.

    It is known as an 'inboard-loaded' design, referring to the fact it creates its maximum downforce towards the centre of the wing rather than the edges. This aids in achieving consistent downforce but reduces the maximum load that can be achieved.

    Leclerc, who in December signed a new contract with the team until 2024, said: "It is a big challenge but I can't wait to drive it.

    "I prepared physically in the mountains to be first and psychologically my approach is very similar to the past seasons."

    Leclerc scored seven pole positions last year, more than any other driver, and won two races to Vettel's one, but has repeatedly acknowledged he made too many mistakes in his first season with Ferrari and only his second in F1.

    "I try to give my best," he said. "We worked hard in order develop the best possible car and I have tried to learn from the past mistakes and I want to be a better driver this year."

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    Renault launch: Team need to regain confidence - Cyril Abiteboul
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    Esteban Ocon, Daniel Ricciardo, managing director Cyril Abiteboul and former F1 champion Alain Prost line up for the Renault launch day
    Renault need to "regain confidence" this season after a tough 2019, their Formula 1 boss Cyril Abiteboul says.

    They fell from fourth to fifth in the world championship last season, which led to a significant staff reshuffle and their technical director's exit.

    "Taking back fourth position in the constructors' championship remains the objective," Abiteboul said.


    Abiteboul added that the team needed to "set the best possible course for the major regulation changes of 2021".

    F1 is introducing new technical rules next year aimed at closing up the field and making the racing more competitive.

    Abiteboul was talking at a Renault event in Paris at which the team teased images of parts of their new car, which is not yet complete and will not emerge until the first day of pre-season testing on 19 February.

    The event was attended by new chassis technical director Pat Fry, who has replaced the ousted Nick Chester.

    Abiteboul added: "For the coming season, we must respect the three priorities identified during the off-season: reliability from the get-go; ensuring a high level of development very early in the season and having a good conversion rate on track."

    These reflect some of the areas in which Renault fell short last year with a car that was sensitive to track characteristics and proved difficult to develop.

    Renault Sport president Jerome Stoll said: "We aim to recapture the positive momentum from our first three years since returning to Formula 1 while preparing for next season, which will represent a new cycle for all teams."

    On the driver front, Australian Daniel Ricciardo continues for a second season and is joined by Frenchman Esteban Ocon, the former Force India driver back in the sport after a year as Mercedes reserve.

    Ricciardo said: "I'm looking forward to blending into the team better on the back of having a full season behind us - so things are going to be easier in that sense. I learnt a lot about myself and obviously a lot about the team."

    Ocon added: "It's very exciting and I can't wait to test the new car in Barcelona.

    "We've had a lot of time to prepare, and I'm feeling ready for the challenge. I'm really looking forward to racing again - back where I want to be - after waiting for a year.

    "There are a lot of new items on this year's car and the guys have been working hard to find some additional performance.

    "It's all about details in Formula 1 and I've seen quite a lot of details on the Renault RS20.

    "It's exciting to see the design but the next thing you want is to be behind the wheel and feeling what it's like."

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    Red Bull: Max Verstappen praises positive test run at Silverstone
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    Red Bull held a private test at Silverstone on Wednesday
    Max Verstappen described his first experience of Red Bull's 2020 Formula 1 car as "very positive" after it ran at Silverstone on Wednesday.

    Red Bull conducted a private test limited to no more than 100km to shake down the new RB15 before the start of pre-season testing in Spain next week.

    "It is important to get the car running and to check all the bits on the car that it's all working before we get to Barcelona," Verstappen said.


    "Can't wait to be there."

    Verstappen's team-mate Alexander Albon, who did not drive, also attended the test.

    The new Red Bull is an evolution of last year's car with a number of interesting developments.

    Most obvious are changes around the front of the car, to its nose tip and cone.

    There is a new twist on the team's ducted nose cone, which first appeared a couple of years ago and is aimed at freeing up space for airflow along the car for aerodynamic advantage.

    A new narrower nose section, with a pronounced lateral step where it meets the monocoque at the front suspension mounting point, has the same aim and is reminiscent of a similar design first introduced by world champions Mercedes and subsequently adopted by McLaren.

    A curved section of bodywork under the nose, known as a cape, also follows a trend started by Mercedes.

    Further back, the rear bodywork is noticeably narrower than last year's, with the aim of improving the airflow on top of the rear floor, which sucks more air out from under the car and increases rear downforce.

    Red Bull are going into their second season with engine partner Honda, having secured the services of Verstappen until at least 2023 after the Dutchman signed a new contract in December.

    Verstappen won three races on his way to finishing third in the championship last year, behind Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. He said at a media event last week that he was hopeful of taking the championship fight to Hamilton this season.

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    McLaren 'optimistic' about chances for 2020 F1 season
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    McLaren have retained drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris for the 2020 Formula 1 season
    McLaren have unveiled their new car with the ambition of continuing the progress they showed last year.

    In 2019, they were the fastest team behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull and finished fourth, two places better than in 2018.

    Team boss Andreas Seidl said: "It is important to keep the positive momentum up and move forward as a team.


    "It is a reset. I am very happy with development. We can be quite optimistic but we have to be realistic as well."

    The new MCL35 retains McLaren's historic papaya orange colour scheme, re-adopted in 2017, but has switched it for a matt finish, following a trend set by Red Bull and Ferrari.

    An evolution of last year's design, the car has a noticeably narrow nose and pinched rear end in the pursuit of maximum possible aerodynamic downforce.

    McLaren continue with their youthful driver line-up of Spaniard Carlos Sainz and Briton Lando Norris, both of whom impressed greatly in 2019.

    Sainz, who in Brazil last November scored McLaren's first podium for five years, said: "We have managed to put together a better car. I have the feeling everything is coming together a lot better. We have a positive momentum and we want to carry that forward."

    Norris, who was an impressive debutant in 2019, said: "It is a base. It was made last year. All our comments and discussions as been put into this. It is a lot more of my car. We have had the input of making this, so it feels a bit more my baby.

    "I was pooping myself a lot last year, especially at this point, whereas now I am lot more confident and more relaxed and that just prepares me better for the season."

    It is the first car fully produced by McLaren under Seidl, who joined in May last year, and new technical director James Key, who started in April and was previously at Toro Rosso.

    Seidl added: "Everyone has the same ambitious targets. We have to focus on ourselves.

    "We are all racers. We all love the sunrises at race tracks. I'm looking forward to going on track again. We have only six days of testing, so it is important to get some decent mileage. We have done our homework. I feel ready.

    "There are a lot of things that make us optimistic, but at the same time we have to be realistic [about] what is achievable from one year to the next."

    McLaren will face stiff competition in the upper midfield, with a group of teams targeting their fourth place. Chief among those will be the factory Renault team, who supply engines to McLaren.

    McLaren Racing chief executive officer Zak Brown said: "The gap to third is still very big in F1 terms. We have to be realistic, we hope to close that gap. The first thing we have to do is not go backwards, which is not easy as we have a lot of competition."

    Key added: "The medium-term target is to maintain our position and close the gap and build on that."

    Pre-season testing starts in Spain on 19 February, with the first grand prix in Melbourne, Australia on 13-15 March.

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    Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes driver still motivated to continue success with team
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    Lewis Hamilton behind the wheel of Mercedes' new car at Silverstone on Friday
    Lewis Hamilton says he and Mercedes are as motivated as ever this year to continue their success.

    Mercedes' new car had its first run at a private test at Silverstone on Friday.

    Hamilton's Finnish team-mate Valtteri Bottas will drive the car in the morning before the Briton, 35, takes over in the afternoon.


    "It is my eighth year with the team and the buzz is the same every year," said six-time world champion Hamilton.

    "They couldn't be more excited or driven. That is the most impressive thing."

    After taking over from Bottas in the new W11 in the afternoon, Hamilton said it "felt great".

    "I've been doing this a long time but each time you get in, the excitement is exactly the same if not more," he added.

    "It all ran smoothly and we won't really know until we get to testing just how good a machine it is in terms of how big an improvement it is, but it didn't feel like a big departure from where we were in (the last race in) Abu Dhabi so that's a good start."

    Hamilton said there were no signs of complacency of over-confidence from the team as they embarked on what could be their seventh consecutive championship winning year.

    "It would be easy to be laid back," he said. "But everyone is super-focused, excited and revamped and reinvigorated for the challenges ahead."

    The team are permitted to do a maximum of 100 kilometres on Friday before shipping the car to Spain for the start of pre-season testing on 19 February.

    Hamilton added: "At this time of year you don't really feel the pressure; it is about enjoying the moment.

    "The guys have worked so hard to put the car together and only two of us get to drive it. It is a real privilege to have that position."

    Hamilton is targeting a seventh world title this year, which would equal the all-time record of Michael Schumacher.

    And if he keeps up his win average of the past six years, he will surpass the German's other record of 91 Grand Prix victories.

    Report
    Hamilton shrugged off comments from Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who said at a media event last week he could beat the Briton if he had the right car, adding: "Lewis is very good. He is definitely one of the best out there but he is not God. Maybe God is with him, but he is not God."

    Hamilton said: "I find it funny seeing that. I have just always known to do my talking on the track. I tend to see that as a sign of weakness."

    Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said the champions were taking nothing for granted before the new season.

    "Success is taking each day at a time," Wolff said. "Today, success would be we have a good shakedown, clock the mileage, get the filming done and then go to Barcelona, get the work done, collect the data and go in good shape to Melbourne [for the season's opening grand prix]."

    The new car is an evolution of last year's dominant W10 with refinements throughout.

    The rear bodywork is noticeably more tightly packaged for better airflow and there is the usual complexity of airflow shapers behind the front wheels.

    Mercedes technical director James Allison said Mercedes had worked hard on improving the car's aerodynamic efficiency, resulting in a car that has a lot more downforce than last year for similar levels of drag.

    Allison added that among the improvements were an "adventurous rear suspension layout in order to free up aerodynamic development opportunity".

    He said Mercedes were expecting the new season to start as the last ended, with Ferrari and Red Bull making it a three-way fight for race victories.

    The Mercedes is expected to be the car to beat again, especially after its strong performance last year, when Red Bull and Ferrari could only manage three wins each out of 21 races. But their two rivals are hopeful of taking the fight to them.

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    Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton test the W11
    Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne, the ex-McLaren F1 driver who now races for Mercedes in Formula E, will be Mercedes' F1 reserve driver this year, replacing Esteban Ocon who has moved to Renault.

    Also on Friday, Alfa Romeo are giving a first test to their new car at Ferrari's Fiorano test track.

    And the former Toro Rosso team, who are being rebranded as Alpha Tauri this year, will unveil their car in Austria on Friday evening.

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    Formula 1 2020: Williams aim for 'fresh start' after launching new car
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    Williams had the worst record of the 10 constructors in the 2019 season, finishing with just one point, 27 adrift of ninth-placed Haas
    Williams have begun their 2020 season with a recognition of the long haul they face before the team can return to competitiveness.

    Williams finished adrift of the field in 2019, their worst ever season, with a car nearly 1.5 seconds slower than the next slowest on the grid.

    Deputy team boss Claire Williams said 2020 "is about making progress" and the "fighting spirit" is still there.


    On Monday, the team unveiled the car, the FW43, before pre-season testing.

    Williams said the team hoped to begin the path back to competitiveness after working hard last year to understand why the previous car was so slow.

    "This year marks a fresh start for the team. We have spent time addressing our areas of weakness and have ensured that we have the right people, structures, procedures and resource in place to deliver competitive race cars," said Williams.

    "We are all committed to rebuilding Williams and returning the team to competitiveness."

    Design director Doug McKiernan said: "We have paid significant attention to understanding the problem areas of the FW42 and we have carefully chosen parts of the car to develop, those that would give us the most performance for the resources we have.

    "The main concept behind the FW43 is that it is a continuous development of the FW42, with no fundamental concept changes to the layout.

    "The most important indicator that we are on the right path will be the level of correlation we have between the tool kit we use to design the car and what the track data is telling us.

    "There has been a healthy development rate in the wind tunnel, and we have found reasonable improvements in the cooling efficiency. The team has addressed the mechanical issues that affected it in 2019, these include the brakes and the overall weight of the car. We have made some good progress across these areas and will continue to focus on them during the season."

    The low-key remarks from key figures reflect the reality that Williams probably face another year at the back, and that their realistic aim can only be to try to catch up with the rest of the field.

    Pre-season testing starts on 19 February, with the first test lasting until 21 February, and the second running from 26-28 February.

    The first race of the season is in Australia on 15 March.

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    Formula 1 testing: Lewis Hamilton fastest as new 2020 cars unleashed
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    Hamilton can win his seventh world title this season
    Lewis Hamilton started his 2020 Formula 1 campaign with a powerful statement of intent as he topped the first day of pre-season testing in Spain.

    Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas shared the driving for Mercedes and ended the day first and second fastest.

    The world champion was 0.337 seconds quicker than Bottas, who headed Racing Point's Sergio Perez by 0.062secs.


    Hamilton's time was set on the 'hard' compound of tyre, whereas Bottas and Perez were on the faster 'medium'.

    Bottas described the day as "a nice starting point" and said: "The car feels good."

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who had two harmless spins at Turn 13, was fourth fastest at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, ahead of Russian Daniil Kvyat in the Alpha Tauri - formerly known as Toro Rosso, the Red Bull junior outfit - and Carlos Sainz's McLaren sixth.

    The Dutchman said: "I touched once the gravel, that is why I spun. And once I lost it in the same corner. These things can happen trying to see the limits of the car, what you can do. Those things are part of it. Luckily no damage, which at the end of the day is the most important thing.

    "It has been a good day; the car has been working really well, and the engine - that's all we want to see. For us it is the most important [thing], I'm very happy about that.

    "It is your first time back in the car so of course your neck is always going to be stiff."

    Ferrari had a low-key day that started with an enforced driver change.

    Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel had been due to drive, but he had to withdraw because he was feeling unwell, and the German went back to the hotel to recover after taking part in an official F1 start-of-term photo with the other drivers.

    Team-mate Charles Leclerc took over instead and ended the day only 11th fastest.

    Whether deliberately or otherwise, Leclerc's initial notes after his first run in the car were captured on camera, and they said that he had experienced some understeer - lack of front grip - in the long-duration, low-speed corners on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

    There was an encouraging start to the year for Williams, who are keen to bury memories of last season when they had the worst year in their history, with a car nearly 1.5 seconds slower than the next slowest on the grid.

    The lap times were very fast, and there was some amazing reliability - there was not a single on-track failure leading to a red flag during the day, a remarkable feat for the first day of testing.

    The final new cars appear
    The start of the day was marked by the emergence of the final three cars not to have had an official launch in the run-up to the start of testing - the Alfa Romeo, Haas and Racing Point.

    The Racing Point turned the most heads for its similarity in many design aspects to last year's title-winning Mercedes.

    Racing Point, who will be rebranded Aston Martin in 2021 following owner Lawrence Stroll's takeover of the sportscar company, have a technical partnership with Mercedes that includes buying the engine, gearbox and suspension from the champions and using their windtunnel.

    And although the team are required by regulation to design their own aerodynamic surfaces, they have produced a car that looks in many areas a virtual facsimile of the Mercedes from 2019.

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    Daniel Ricciardo wore a helmet in tribute to the late basketball star Kobe Bryant
    A positive start for Williams
    Williams made an encouraging start to their season after the disappointments of 2019, when they were by far the slowest team.

    This time last year, Williams did not even have a car ready for the first two and a half days of testing, a failure that ultimately led to the departure of their technical chief Paddy Lowe.

    This time, their promising British driver George Russell was first out on track, an achievement Williams described as "cathartic", and he set the eighth fastest time.

    Russell said: "It's feeling good. It's definitely an improvement on last year. It's difficult to get a read so far but from within it feels nice to drive. Obviously lap times are the important thing and we'll only know by the end of next week how that is.

    "Last year was far from ideal and the team have done a really great job to achieve that and the build quality of the car is so much better standard compared to last year. Things fit properly and the car looks better from a design perspective, so I think overall it's been a very positive morning.

    "It was definitely a character-building year last year and I'm confident we can go racing this year and have a bit more fun than last year, and that's what we are all hoping for."

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    Back in business? Williams had a very encouraging first day
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    Alfa Romeo, Haas and Racing Point all released their 2020 machines in Barcelona
    Fastest times, first pre-season test, day one:

    1 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:16.976 H

    2 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:17.313 M

    3 Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:17.375 M

    4 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:17.516 M

    5 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Alpha Tauri 1:17.698 M

    6 Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:17.842 H

    7 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:17.873 H

    8 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Renault 1:18.004 M

    9 George Russell (GB) Williams 1:18.168 M

    10 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:18.282 H

    11 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:18.289 M

    12 Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:18.382 S

    13 Robert Kubica (Pol) Alfa Romeo 1:18.386 M

    14 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas 1:18.466 M

    15 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo 1:20.096 M

    Key: S = soft tyre; M = medium tyre; H = hard tyre

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    Formula 1 testing: Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo fastest on day two in Spain
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    By Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer

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    Forty-year-old Kimi Raikkonen is in his 18th season of Formula 1
    Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen was fastest on the second day of the first pre-season test, as Mercedes caused a stir with a new steering system.

    Raikkonen headed Racing Point's Sergio Perez, Renault's Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull's Alexander Albon.

    Mercedes, meanwhile, debuted their revolutionary steering system.


    "It allows the drivers an extra dimension of control on the steering system," said technical director James Allison.

    "Why we do it, exactly how it works and all those sorts of things, we'd rather keep those to ourselves. But we hope it's an innovation that will bring an advantage during the season.

    "It's an example of how this team is always pushing to try to find new ways to make our car quicker and it's just great fun having it at the track."

    Allison insisted the system - one of the aims of which is believed to be keeping tyre temperatures under control - had been developed with the knowledge of governing body the FIA. But rival teams may well feel they want to test its legality.

    Hamilton was ninth fastest on the day but his fastest time from Wednesday remained the quickest of the winter so far, just over 0.1secs faster than Raikkonen's best on Thursday.

    Headline lap times in testing are unreliable indications of real pace because it is impossible to know the specification in which cars are running, and fuel loads, engine modes and tyres make significant differences to lap times.

    The 'Pink Mercedes'
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    Racing Point finished seventh in the constructors' championship in 2019
    Perez had been fastest for most of the day, until a late run on the softest tyre compound from Raikkonen, and the Mexican's pace in the Racing Point did little to quieten grumbling from rivals about how similar the car appears to last year's Mercedes design.

    The RP20, as it is known, bears a striking resemblance to 2019's Mercedes W10 in a number of areas, especially the front wing, nose, front suspension and side-pod leading edge.

    Racing Point technical director Andrew Green said the car's likeness to a Mercedes was a result of a change in design philosophy.

    Racing Point have a commercial agreement with Mercedes under which they buy engine, gearbox and some suspension parts from the world champions, as allowed under the rules.

    He said that because Mercedes' gearbox was designed for a car that had a different design philosophy from the one Racing Point had previously been using, it was restricting development possibilities.

    "It was clear that if we carried on the route we were going, we were going to end up at best where we finished in the championship last year," Green said. "That wasn't going to be acceptable."

    He said the team had decided to take the "very, very big risk" of changing their methodology and following Mercedes in a bid to improve on their seventh position in the championship last year.

    Other teams have questioned the similarity between the two cars, because F1 teams are required to design themselves the aerodynamic surfaces of their cars and are forbidden from collaborating.

    But Green and Mercedes both insist everything was above board and legal and that there had been no sharing of information beyond what is allowed under their commercial agreement on non-restricted parts.

    First crash of the winter
    The first day of pre-season testing passed without major incident but on Thursday Haas driver Romain Grosjean became the first driver to crash in 2020 when the Frenchman lost control at Turn Four late in the day.

    Grosjean spun and brushed the wall backwards but was able to return the car to the pits under its own power.

    Earlier, Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas spun the Mercedes at Turn 13 and Raikkonen also had a spin, this time at the chicane. The Finn also caused a late red flag when his Alfa stopped on track.

    Bottas took over from Hamilton after the world champion completed a race-simulation run in the morning.

    Bottas was attempting the same in the afternoon but had to cut it a few laps short when the car suffered an electrical problem that ended the team's running early.

    Fastest times, first pre-season test, day two
    1. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo 1:17.091 U
    2. Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:17.347 M
    3. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:17.749
    4. Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:17.912 H
    5. Pierre Gasly (Fra) Alpha Tauri 1:18.121 H
    6. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:18.154 S
    7. George Russell (GB) Williams 1:18.266 M
    8. Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:18.335 M
    9. Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:18.387 H
    10. Lando Norris (GB) McLaren 1:18.474 H
    11. Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas 1:18.496 M
    12. Esteban Ocon (Fra) Renault 1:18.557 H
    13. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:19.307 H
    Key: U = ultra-soft tyre; S = soft tyre; M = medium tyre; H = hard tyre

    Swami
     
  10. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme EXP: 13 Years

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    Ferrari behind rivals as Vettel breaks down






    [​IMG]
    Vettel's Ferrari was the first car to break down of the entire field
    Ferrari say they are lagging behind rivals Mercedes and Red Bull at the halfway point of pre-season testing.

    The admission from team boss Mattia Binotto came as Sebastian Vettel suffered the first mechanical failure of testing with an engine failure.

    Binotto said: "I am not as optimistic as last year so it means the others are faster than us at the moment.


    "How much faster it's really difficult to judge. We will go through all the data."

    The first of two three-day pre-season tests came to an end on Friday at Barcelona's Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with Mercedes drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton topping the timesheets.

    Bottas set the fastest time of the winter, 0.8 seconds quicker than Hamilton and well over a second quicker than anyone else managed.

    The Finn said: "We're only halfway through the testing and I can say it has been a good feeling, no massive balance issues with the car, the behaviour has been pretty good, and I feel we've made good improvement every day with the car and that was the goal."

    Vettel was 12th fastest overall after suffering an engine failure midway through the morning session that curtailed his running until the afternoon.

    Ferrari have focused on producing a car with more downforce this season after lagging behind Mercedes for much of 2019, in which they Italian team could win only three races.

    Asked if this year's Ferrari was a Mercedes-beater, Binotto said: "It's a very early stage to decide. I think Ferrari will be a (Mercedes) beater if you consider the overall of the season. Will Ferrari be a (Mercedes) beater already (at the first race) in Australia? Maybe not.

    "I've seen certainly Mercedes, and Red Bull, very fast in these first days. But I think we will assess the true performance only next week or in Australia. And that will be true performance to start the season with, knowing that 22 races are very long and everything may change."

    The second pre-season test is at the same track from 26-28 February.

    Binotto emphasised that Ferrari had changed their approach to pre-season testing after their strong form last year did not translate into a competitive car at the start of the season.

    "We changed the approach to testing so we focused the first sessions on trying to map the car in various aero and mechanical configurations without really trying to optimise the set-up and look for overall performance," he said.

    [​IMG]
    "On the other side it is true that last year at this stage I was more optimistic because the lap time was easier to find.

    "While if it is true we did not focus on set-up work or performance, it seems it is more difficult. The competitors apparently are very strong but we should not forget the story of last year and let's wait until next week and Australia to better understand the true picture."

    However, Binotto also admitted that Ferrari did not have any major upgrades planned for the car before the first race in Australia on 15 March.

    "It will not differ much," said Binotto. "(No big upgrades) for Australia - but the potential is there so it's about optimising the current package and then developing it."

    Ferrari were not the only team to suffer reliability problems on Friday.

    Haas driver Kevin Magnussen had a light crash at Turn Eight when a wheel spacer failure led to a broken wheel and a puncture, which ended his running mid-afternoon.

    And Renault's Daniel Ricciardo, whose team-mate Esteban Ocon was third fastest on the day, stopped on track with just over an hour to go of the afternoon session.

    Fastest times, first pre-season test, day two:

    1 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes 1:15.732 U

    2 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:16.516 U

    3 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Renault 1:17.102 S

    4 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:17.338 S

    5 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Alpha Tauri 1:17.427 S

    6 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo 1:17.469 S

    7 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:17.636 H

    8 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Alpha Tauri 1:17.783 S

    9 Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:18.154 H

    10 Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:18.274 H

    11 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas 1:18.380 M

    12 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:18.384 M

    13 Lando Norris (GB) McLaren 1:18.454 M

    14 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:18.856 H

    15 Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:19.004 M

    16 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas 1:19.708 H

    Key: U = ultra-soft tyre; S = soft tyre; M = medium tyre; H = hard tyre

    Swami
     

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