McLaren’s launch at Woking, Surrey is set to happen before Ferrari unveil their new car, in Maranello, later in the week. Ferrari will test the car at the team’s Fiorano test track, next weekend, before the formal pre-season testing scheduled to begin on February 7, in Spain.
Lotus will unveil their car on the Internet on Sunday, and Red Bull will follow suit, a day later.
After an inconsistent season in 2011, Lewis Hamilton’s form is also likely to be discussed when Mclaren reveal their new car on Wednesday. Hamilton has been training all winter, in the United States.
Red Bull have no such concerns after Sebastian Vettel became world champion last year; Mark Webber would want to rediscover his golden form of 2010 to match his team mate in the forthcoming season. Also in the wings are junior team members, Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, ready to challenge their senior team members.
At Mercedes, who have had two forgettable seasons, the main question will be about Michael Schumacher’s continuation with his team after his contract expires in 2012. Schumacher, clearly past his best, has had a problem getting along with his team-mates. Especially young Nico Rosberg who Schumacher, past 40, is finding difficult to compete with. Another driver, Felipe Massa, could be heading for the exit, at Mercedes who had just a solitary win to show for their efforts, in 2011.
The biggest challenge for the various teams appears to be the new F-one rules regarding card design. The new mandates aimed at improving safety require that cars have lower noses while keeping retaining the height of the bulkhead, up front.
Another interesting change this year will be the ban on exhaust-blown diffusers; last year these devices were used to increase downforce by getting the exhausts to blow along the rear floor of the vehicle. By requiring that exit pipes of the exhausts appear just above the rear bodywork, the F1A, the governing body, has rendered the technology ineffective.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.