In the time between the last blog seven teams have fully launched their cars. Its Monday the first of February which mean only one thing. Pre-season testing is finally here!! A three month drought of main driver action will be sorted today as the cars take to the track at Valencia to get their first shakedowns. One of the interesting things to come out of the launches last week is that the new Ferrari could be in trouble already. If rumours are to be believed then a B spec version of the new car is already in development back at Marenello. Apparently the new car lacks pace. Here's hoping that this bit of news will shut Luca de Montezemello up after his outspokenness at the Ferrari launch. Montezemello ranted about the fact that testing was limited and that the FIA should allow more of it. Many who know the history of the Ferrari F1 team will know that they are big fans of blowing cash on testing. In many respects it could be their economic superiority over their rivals that helps them stand out from the crowd in terms of performance. He also gave out about the fact that the three car rule wasn't introduced in which every team would run three cars each. (He also went as far as saying that Schumacher would have remained at Marenello for 2010 if such a rule was brought in.) This proposed rule is so economically ridiculous that there is no way it would ever be introduced. As mentioned in previous posts some teams are struggling to even make the grid this year with two cars. Not to mention that some teams would surely miss out on a grid slot as well. (thirteen teams with three cars each equals thirty nine cars!!)
Renault raised a few eyebrows when it launched at Valencia on Sunday as well. Their new car, the R30, was very similar to its predecessor the R29 and there were suggestions that it may well be the R29 and that the public had been fooled. But this isn't the most striking thing about the car. The new yellow and black (and a bit of red) livery is a breath of fresh air to the horrific colours we have seen from Renault in the past. Renault also announced that Vitaly Petrov would drive the second Renault which he paid quite handsomely for (reportedly around seven percent of Renault's overall budget!!)
Sauber also launched their new car at Valencia..... excuse me, BMW Sauber launched their new car. Yes the old name remains, even though BMW's involvement with the team is gone the team is to retain the name (strangely) for the season. With De La Rossa and Kobayashi as the drivers it could be an interesting season with a mix of experience and youthful determination.
McLaren launched its challenger the day after Ferrari and this is the team I'm most excited about seeing in action. The two most recent world champions who both are real racers going at it in the same team. They've both stressed the importance of team work so I guess they know what question is on every one's mind. Are they going to fall out? It will be one of the more interesting stories of the new season. Mercedes finally launched their new car after releasing their livery last Monday. It has all the trademarks of a title challenger. Impressive design and great drivers, look out for these lads they won't disappoint. Williams and Torro Rosso also launched on Monday. Williams, always a team that will go a different way on their design had similar features to the rest of the grid apart from an extra air intake. Torro Rosso have entered 2010 as a constructor for the first time, meaning they haven't gotten assistance from Red Bull. It will be interesting to see if they can cut it on their own.
Testing starts today and all the preparation, building and design start to show their results in the next few weeks. I'll be back next week to round up the first week of testing and hopefully some of these areas will have answers. Till then, cya!!