With the 2015 Formula 1 testing period in progress, we have decided to highlight the newly launched F1 cars that teams will race this season. Before we do that, let us look at the new changes and regulations in the forthcoming season. Firstly you will notice small design changes in the overall look of the cars where the noses are now lower than the previous season.
The minimum weight of the cars has been increased to 720 kg and wind tunnel hours reduced from 80 hours a week to 65 hours a week. While each driver benefited from five power units in the previous season, this number has been reduced to just four power units per driver. Nevertheless, the FIA has allowed in-season engine development with engine manufacturers getting 32 tokens.
Following Jules Bianchi’s accident at the Japanese Grand Prix last year, a new Virtual Safety Car has been introduced. It will be used in the occasion of double waved yellow flags where electronic marshal panels will display “VSC”. Teams will be notified through the official messaging systems. Drivers will not be allowed to enter pit lanes unless changing tyres and they will be required to drive above the minimal time set by FIA and penalised if they fail to do so. Once the clerk declares the track to be safe, the “VSC” signal on will turn green and drivers may resume racing immediately.
Without further adieu, let us look at the 2015 Formula 1 cars.
1. Mercedes-AMG W06 Hybrid
Development of the Mercedes-AMG W06 Hybrid began towards the end of the 2014 season. It’s a successor to the multi-race winning W05 Hybrid that won Mercedes-AMG the 2014 F1 championship, becoming the most dominant F1 car in history. The W06 will utilize the same 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrid mated to an 8-speed sequential gearbox with one reverse gear. The body is made of carbon fiber and honeycomb composite structure. The car will be piloted by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
2. McLaren MP4-30
Designed by the former Red Bull Racing head of aerodynamics Peter Prodromou who is currently McLaren’s Chief Engineer, the McLaren MP4-30 is powered by a Honda V6 engine. Honda has been in F1 before supplying engines and racing under the British American Racing team which it purchased in 2006. Other than the turbocharged Honda V6 engine, the McLaren MP4-30 will also utilise the heat recovery system and KERS. The car will be driven by Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
3. Ferrari SF15-T
Development of the 2015 Ferrari SF15-T saw a team of engineers spend 250,000 hours perfecting it. They sourced parts from 300 suppliers hailing from 15 different countries. The Ferrari SF15-T will still be powered by a 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engine that debuted in the F14-T in the 2014 season. The letters “SF” stand for Scuderia Ferrari while “15” represents the year 2015 and the T reflects the single turbo used in the powertrain. It will be piloted by Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
4. Sauber C34
After failing to score any points in the previous season, Sauber returns to the 2015 season with a new car featuring a new livery. The car will use a Ferrari built 1.6-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine combined with the two energy recovery systems. The C34 will be piloted by Marcus Ericsson and rookie Felipe Nasr.
5. Lotus E23 Hybrid
Lotus returns to the 2015 season with a Mercedes-powered car different from what they used in the previous season. The E22 Hybrid was powered by a Renault engine, a partnership that lasted for two decades. They design of the car has changed too after they ditched the twin-tusk nose in favor of the lower improved noses. The new car will be piloted by Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
6. Force India VMJ08
The VMJ08 was revealed in Mexico highlighting the return of the Mexican Grand Prix after many years of absence. This is also a Mercedes-powered car meaning it will utilize a 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engine coupled with two energy recovery systems. Sporting a new livery, the car will be piloted by Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.
7. Williams FW37
Yet another Mercedes-powered car, the new Williams FW37 was in development long before the 2014 season began. After taking 9 podium finishes last season, the team is now aiming to keep up with the dominant Mercedes-AMG. The FW37 will be piloted by Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.
8. Red Bull RB11
Designed by Adrian Newey the Red Bull RB11 is still in development and has been revealed with heavy camouflage on it. Its currently taking part in the F1 testing in Jerez. The car is powered by a Renault 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged engine coupled with the MGU-K and MGU-H units. It will be piloted by Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Kvyat was formerly with sister team Toro Rosso but got promoted after Sebastian Vettel left for Ferrari.
9. Toro Rosso STR10
Sister team to Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso will race a Renault-powered car that will be piloted by 17-year old Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz, Jr.
Caterham went into administration in October 2014 and missed the next two races in USA and Brazil. They resulted to crowdfunding and successfully participated in the season finale in Abu Dhabi. The team received special permission to use their 2014 cars in the 2015 season to aid the administrator in finding a new buyer.
Marussia went into administration last year alongside Caterham and they missed the last three races of the season. With race equipment scheduled for auction in December 2014, the team postponed the auctions citing promising negotiations that may see them race in the 2015 season. The team had a 2015 car in development.
2015 Formula 1 Season Schedule:
March 13-15 Australia (Melbourne)
March 27-29 Malaysia (Sepang)
April 10-12 China (Shanghai)
April 17-19 Bahrain (Sakhir)
May 8-10 Spain (Barcelona)
May 21-24 Monaco
June 5-7 Canada (Montreal)
June 19-21 Austria (Spielberg)
July 3-5 Great Britain (Silverstone)
July 17-19 Germany (TBA)
July 24-26 Hungary (Budapest)
August 21-23 Belgium (Spa-Francorchamps)
September 4-6 Italy (Monza)
September 18-20 Singapore
September 25-27 Japan (Suzuka)
October 9-11 Russia (Sochi)
October 23-25 USA (Austin)
October 31-November 1 Mexico (Mexico City)
November 13-15 Brazil (Interlagos)
November 27-29 Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)