McLaren MCL34 revealed

McLaren’s 2019 challenger has been revealed, after a disappointing 2018, McLaren hopes that the MCL34 is the beginning of their road to recovery.

Continuing with the Papaya and Blue colour scheme from last year, McLaren certainly have one of the best liveries on the grid.

For the first time since 2007 McLaren have a new driver lineup in Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris.

See images of the MCL34 below:

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Mexico City E-Prix Preview

As we head into the fourth round of the FIA ABB Formula E championship we also head to Mexico for it’s fourth race in the series.

After a strong couple of races, Sam Bird leads the championship with Jerome D’Ambrosio and Antonio Felix da Costa close behind, Envision Virgin Racing also lead the teams championship.

The Track:

@NIO TRACK

Copyright: Nio Formula E team

A revised version of the Formula One track with 17 corners with 3 long right handers which will make things difficult for drivers off-line. Overtaking isn’t easy around here as proven by Jerome D’Ambrosio back in season 3 when he was able to hold off a faster pack of cars behind him for a considerable amount of time when he had less energy available.

The most spectacular part of the circuit is the stadium section where cars will race through the stadium surrounded by fans, we have seen incidents there before too so it is a must for spectators. This is also where the attack zone is this year, unlike other circuits due to the slow nature of the corners surrounding it, little lack time should be lost activating it.

PodiumsNot yet dominated:

In the 3 seasons that Formula E has been racing at Mexico, 8 drivers have taken to the podium with 7 of them being current drivers.

Sebastian Buemi is the only driver to step on the podium more than once in Mexico, Lucas Di Grassi has theoretically finished on the podium twice but was disqualified in season 3 so only has 1 classified podium finish.

 

Crunch time for Buemi and Di Grassi:

@Nissan Buemi.jpg

Copyright: Nissan NISMO

Season 2 and 3 champions Buemi and Di Grassi are both yet to stand on the podium this season. Both drivers have the package to deliver but have both struggled in the opening 3 rounds of the season. Mexico City is crucial for both drivers if they are serious about mounting a title challenge this year, both need to at least finish on the podium if they want to start building that title challenge.

Who to watch out for:

@Venturi Mortara 3

Copyright: Venturi Formula E Team

Felipe Massa and Edoardo Mortara have had a difficult start to the season, the Venturi hasn’t had the pace of it’s rivals but both drivers have put in strong performances so far. Massa has been unlucky with collisions and failures so far this season and without this misfortune he would have already scored points. Mortara enjoyed a solid result with 5th in Santiago and will look to emulate this in Mexico City.

Robin Frijns would probably be my outside bet for the title this season, he is quick and has found an equally as fast team with Envision Virgin Racing. Strong results in the past 2 races has him in 4th in the drivers standings, with a strong package behind him expect a challenge for victory in Mexico City.

Felipe Nasr will compete in his first E-Prix this weekend and it will be his first time racing in single-seaters since 2016. Don’t write him off though, he has proved to be a solid runner and has already tested with Dragon before, don’t be surprised if he challenges for a points finish.

Podium Prediction:

1st: Robin Frijns 2nd: Lucas di Grassi 3rd: Jean-Eric Vergne

Ways to watch:

UK TV Times

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Racing Point confirm SportPesa as title-sponsor, reveal 2019 livery

The newly re-branded Racing Point F1 Team who took over from midfield giants Force India have revealed their new livery along with a new title-sponsor SportPesa ahead of the 2019 season.

Force India went into administration in the summer of 2018 and a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll (father of Lance Stroll) purchased the teams assets and entered as a new team for the remainder of the season.

The team was re-branded Racing Point Force India for the interim as the team looked for a new name for 2019. Eventually the name Racing Point stuck after a failed attempt at finding a new name.

The team now benefits from extra funding as it looks to challenge the top three in the near future. Lance Stroll joins Sergio Perez in 2019 as the team targets 4th in the constructor’s championship.

“The targets are extreme, we really want to go to the next level. Now is the time to show what we can really do, now that we have all the tools in place.” Said Racing Point driver, Sergio Perez.

SportPesa has been confirmed as the teams title sponsor and is the first betting company to sponsor the team since Liberty removed restrictions on gambling advertisement last year. BWT remain as a sponsor and as such the car remains pink, something that team principal Otmar Szafnauer believes “has become iconic”.

“The long-term aim is to take this team to the very top of the sport.” He added.

“We are putting the building blocks in place and it’s important we take a good step forward in 2019 as we begin this new era. We want to be fighting for podiums on merit and aiming for a strong top four finish in the championship”

See images of the first Racing Point livery below:

Racing PointRacing Point 2Racing Point 3Racing Point 5

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Red Bull reveal RB15 in “one-off” livery

Red Bull have released the first image of the RB15 in a special livery ahead of the 2019 season. Much like last season Red Bull have released the first images of their car in a special livery but wont be the one used for the entire season.

This will be the first Red Bull car powered by Honda and the Milton Keynes based team have been very bullish about their prospects for 2019.

Gasly also makes the step up from Toro Rosso after impressing in his first full season, Max Verstappen will also be aiming for the title fight this season if the Honda engine delivers what Red Bull Expect.

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Significantly re-designed Mercedes engine for 2019

As competition closes up, Mercedes are set to run a significantly re-designed engine for 2019. Renault are claiming “substantial” gains on their engine for 2019 and with Red Bull boasting the progress Honda have made as well as Ferrari to no doubt make gains, Mercedes need to keep progressing the engine if they wish to stay at the front.

Mercedes engine operations chief Andy Cowell has confirmed some of the changes made to this years engine: “We’ve made changes to the cooling architecture of the power unit, which hopefully provide aerodynamic benefit on the car and also provide efficiency benefit on the power unit – so, hopefully a win on both the chassis and on the power unit.”

“Right at the heart of the power unit is the conversion of fuel into heat release in the combustion chamber and useful work out of the crankshaft.”

“We have made steps on the combustion efficiency and on the ERS system. The marriage between the turbocharger assembly with the MGU-H, the inverter, the cells and the MGU-K: that whole system is now capable of operating more efficiently and helping with energy deployment through a race.”

Although there a no changes to engine regulations itself this year there have been changes to the amount of fuel permitted in the car for the race, increasing the maximum fuel allowance to 110kg from 105kg last year.

Andy Cowell has already revealed that some may not opt to run 110kg still due to the weight penalty this adds.

“If you have got an efficient engine with efficient aerodynamics and you are prepared to do a little bit of lift and coasting, then you have the opportunity to start the race at less than 110kg, for every 5kg of weight you save, it’s about two tenths of a second a lap quicker, so there is a natural reward to starting the race a little bit lighter.”

“There is still a competitive edge from making an efficient car – both power unit and aerodynamics – and racing smartly to make sure that you have good pace at the start of the race as well as through the race.”

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Mercedes W10 revealed

Reigning champions Mercedes are the 5th team to unveil their title challenger ahead of the 2019 season.

Mercedes look to win their 6th drivers and constructors championship in succession which would set a record in itself. Mercedes will be expecting a tougher challenge from Ferrari this year and will need to once again raise the bar if it wants to stay at the top.

The livery revealed is different to recent years with more grey and the iconic silver arrows logo plastered over the engine cover.

Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton is once again joined by Valtteri Bottas who has a point to prove this season after a lacklustre 2018 saw the Finn fail to win a single race. Esteban Ocon now fills the role of reserve driver and will be eager to get plenty of track time in the W10 as he aims to return to the grid in 2020.

See more images of the W10 below.

MercedesMercedes 3Mercedes 4

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“Substantial” gains made on 2019 Renault engine – Abiteboul

Renault revealed their 2019 challenger ahead of the 2019 season in which they hope they can close the gap to the likes of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

The Renault engine has lacked in performance and reliability since the beginning of the turbo-hybrid era with customers Red Bull and Toro Rosso switching to Honda as a result.

Speaking at the Renault launch, Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul is happy with the gains on the engine over the winter.

“It is substantial,” making reference to the gains over the winter.

“The furthest I will go is that it is the biggest we have ever done since the V6 introduction.” Renault were criticised by former partners Red Bull over the progress that they have made in comparison to Ferrari and Mercedes since 2014.

“It is very much new, and it is just pushing further the concept that we introduced and tested successfully with Red Bull – the famous C-spec that we elected not to run” In the latter stages of 2018 Renault introduced a more powerful C-spec engine at the cost of reliability. Renault opted not to run the C-spec to avoid grid penalties but Red Bull opted to run it and were happy with the extra performance it brought.

Renault have moved from 9th to 4th in the constructor’s championship over the space of three years but will struggle to improve on it’s championship position this year.

“For three years it is clear that we have a nice and steady progression, which is good both at the track and at the factory. I don’t want to say anything that would be killing that.”

“In order for the progression to keep on continuing to be here, we need a number of success stories.”

“Last year the progress in the championship was in general a success story, and I think it is fair to say that more progress in the championship will take a bit longer. That is very clear. We are humble and professional enough to know that.”

“But I think it is important to have some glimpses or demonstrations that our ambitions are correct. I would like and I believe that in particular this can come from the engine side, where we have had in particular a very, very strong winter. So that will be typically a good season.”

“On the chassis side, the Enstone side, we have the structure but it is going to take a bit of time before the structure can turn into a race winning car.”

Consolidating 4th in the constructor’s championship while closing the gap to the top three has to be Renault’s target this year and with the strong driver pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg, this should be more than achievable.

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