After a sublime resurgence in 2016, Red Bull have been widely tipped as Mercedes’ biggest threat heading into the new era of the sport. Considering that F1 is once again becoming an aero formula, the theory is rather water-tight.
As such, anticipation for the launch of the RB13 has been steadily building all week. Red Bull and Toro Rosso being the final teams to unveil their 2017 challengers has ensured that launch week would end with a crescendo and springboard F1 into it’s first winter test.
The RB13’s online launch was incredibly atmospheric. A video that was chilling and thrilling in equal measure. It’s proved a hit with fans but if you look beyond the lights and special effects, it prompts far more questions than answers.
After countless clues growing more and more obvious as launch day drew closer, McLaren somewhat spoilt the surprise for the moment that they finally revealed a primarily orange MCL32. Despite many being sceptical of the livery, I’m a fan. Call it a Spyker, Arrows or Marussia, it’s a flash of colour on the 2017 grid and that should be welcomed.
McLaren will hope the new look can brighten up the mood at Woking following several seasons of woe. The once great team enter a critical season in 2017. They missed a trick at the last regulation change and need to be quick out of the blocks this time to avoid a repeat performance.
Don’t bet against this kind of McLaren resurgence this season. This is a new look team for 2017 and here’s why.
I’m not sure what works harder? Mercedes’ engineers, or air going over the W08.
As I mentioned in Wednesday’s article, this launch season has been absolutely fascinating. So many different concepts have already been showcased, with the likes of Force India unveiling machinery which is visibly more complex than that of their rivals.
Mercedes, however, have significantly raised the bar. The W08 was launched on Thursday and is by far the most complicated design unveiled so far.
It looks like a winner, but then, we really shouldn’t be surprised.
Force India are often labeled as F1’s best team. They may not have the manufacturer muscle of Mercedes, the heritage of Ferrari or World Championship trophies littering their lobby, but what they do have is an effective design team who convert their available resources into the maximum available points.
A record-breaking fourth place finish in the 2016 Constructors’ Standings was their well-earned reward. It seems implausible that they can improve upon what was a remarkable 2016 and break into the top three.
However, Vijay Mallya certainly believes it to be possible. On Wednesday, the team unveiled their 2017 challenger – the VJM10 – and it is certainly a bold design to match their big ambitions.