Final Wraps Pulled off as F1 Pre-Season Testing Gets Started
For teams that wanted to wait right until the last minute to reveal their cars, the time is up as everybody begins pre-season testing in Barcelona for the 2018 Formula 1 campaign.
Force India revealed their bright pink VJM11 in the Barcelona pit lane, with drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon pulling off the black cover together. The team hopes to break into the podium more this year after placing fourth in the constructors’ standings the last two seasons.
“I see no reason why we cannot consolidate our position and improve,” said Team Principal, Vijay Mallya. “Yes, Formula One is a very tough and competitive environment, but we are an established team with continuity in all areas of the company. We don’t take anything for granted, but we will be disappointed if we are not fighting for points at every race this year.”
Their new challenger features tighter sidepods, as well as an update to the livery.
“The DNA of the car is still very much that of last year’s car,” explained Technical Director Andrew Green. “We took the decision, quite a while ago, that the launch specification of the 2018 car would be based around our understanding of the 2017 car, but with all new structures required by the regulations in place. It is a starting point, a good reference from which to introduce changes quite quickly; it gives our aerodynamics department more time to develop a car for the first race in Australia, rather than having to release parts early for testing.”
The only thing that appears to stand in their way is driver chemistry, which became a concern following a number of incidents between the teammates last season.
“We will, of course, remind them [of their responsibilities], but not really sit down and talk to them,” Chief Operating Officer Otmar Szafnauer said. “You’ll remember after we clinched fourth place, we allowed them to race again with the same rules that we had before we said no more racing and they performed admirably.
“So I think just a reminder and I think they’ve come into their own maturity – Checo as a father and Esteban having more than doubled his experience in Formula 1 – they understand, and they will act accordingly for the good of the team, which is ultimately for the good of themselves too. I’m quite confident that they will race respectfully, competitively, but for the good of the team.”
Red Bull then revealed their STR13 on pit road, as they get ready to begin their first year using Honda power rather than McLaren.
“I am really looking forward to begin this new season and enter a new era for our team, working together with Honda,” said team principal Franz Tost. “It’s an exciting time for Toro Rosso because we have not had our own engine supplier before, so to partner with a manufacturer, with the history Honda has, will be great.”
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