Renault reveals 2019 challenger

Renault are the 4th team to show their 2019 Formula One car. Renault finished 4th in the constructors championship in 2018 an improvement from 6th from the year before, it will be a big ask for Renault to improve on that this season with the gap to Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes still too big.

A completely brand new car for 2019 will help Renault close the gap to it’s rivals with both engine and chassis needing big progress if they want to start fighting for podiums.

Renault will be targeting to close the gap this season and the odd podium should be expected. Daniel Ricciardo also joins the team from Red Bull who partners Nico Hulkenberg in one of the strongest driver pairings on the grid.

See images of Renault’s 2019 challenger below:

RenaultRenault 1Renault 2Renault 3

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Williams announce title-partner ROKiT, reveal 2019 livery

Williams have announced a new title-partner in mobile phone start-up ROKiT along with a fresh new look ahead of the 2019 season.

After five years with Martini as a title sponsor, Williams have announced ROKiT as it’s replacement. A new colour scheme was also revealed with white and turquoise be the predominant colours on the car.

“We are delighted to welcome ROKiT to our team as our title partner for the 2019 season and beyond.” Said Claire Williams, deputy team principal.

“We share many similar values and aspirations with ROKiT; primarily putting engineering and innovation at the core of everything we do in our pursuit to be the best – the perfect platform from which to start a partnership.”

“ROKiT is on an exciting journey in their world of telecommunications, as we are at Williams as we build the team for a successful future.”

Jonathan Kendrick, chairman of ROK brands was a former tyre engineer for former Williams driver and world champion Alan Jones.

“With ROKiT launching in 2019 we wanted a global platform that would help us tell our story of innovation. Williams Racing is the perfect partner. With them we can bring F1 to audiences in new and pioneering ways.” Said Kendrick

“Through our glasses-free 3D technology and our Wi-Fi capabilities, we aim to make Formula One even more accessible for all.”

“Williams Racing exists purely to race in the top echelon of motor racing and we see the exciting partnership of ROKiT Williams Racing as the beginning of an ambitious and exciting road back to the podium.”

Williams have all-new lineup ahead of the 2019 season, Robert Kubica will make his comeback after 8 years away from the sport following a rally crash leaving part of his arm amputated. Formula 2 champion George Russell signed a multi-year deal last season and is one of F1’s most exciting young prospects.

@Williams 4WilliamsWilliams 3

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Toro Rosso reveals STR14

Toro Rosso are the second team to reveal images of their 2019 challenger. This will be the 2nd year with Honda Power after a mixed 2018 resulted in 9th in the constructors, their worst result since 2012.

Toro Rosso’s technical director James Key departed from the team last season and will join McLaren later this season. With sister team Red Bull also running Honda power this season, Toro Rosso will share parts with Red Bull much like the Haas-Ferrari relationship.

“Components relative to the power unit will be the same specification as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing, to be used within the regulations” Said Toro Rosso team principal, Franz Tost.

“Most of the remaining parts we receive from Red Bull Technology will be last year’s specifications.”

“Scuderia Toro Rosso, being a smaller team, could not follow the fast development and production process a bigger team can afford, especially considering that the release of the technical drawing could, for whatever reason, be delayed or delivered last minute.”

“Compared to other teams, Toro Rosso count on a smaller number of people, but the synergies with Red Bull Technology for the non-listed parts, now that Aston Martin Red Bull Racing will also be equipped with the Honda engine, will leave more time for our technical working groups to focus more on the details”

Neither of Toro Rosso’s 2018 drivers will remain at the team in 2019, Pierre Gasly will now driver for Red Bull while Brendon Hartley was announced as one of Ferrari’s simulator drivers.

Former Red Bull juniors Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon will fill the seats with this being Kvyat’s 3rd stint with Toro Rosso.

See images of the STR14 below:

Toro RossoToro Rosso 2Toro Rosso 3

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British American Tobacco sign partnership with McLaren

McLaren have announced a new multi-year partnership with British American Tobacco starting from 2019.

British American Tobacco were of course the former owners of British American Racing from 1999-2005, tempting world champion Jacques Villeneuve from Williams for their debut season and taking Jenson Button to the podium on multiple occasions.

Tobacco advertising is now banned preventing BAT from promoting any of their tobacco brands. Philip Morris International still sponsor Ferrari through it’s Mission Winnow initiative but is currently under investigation from Australian authorities over similarities between Mission Winnow and Marlboro.

Like Mission Winnow, BAT intend to promote their company through innovation and design as well as some of their low risk brands, BAT will also work with McLaren Applied Technologies developing batteries and advanced materials.

“We welcome BAT to the McLaren team and support their ambition of delivering meaningful and lasting change through innovation” Said McLaren Racing Chief Executive Zak Brown.

“BAT’s transformation agenda is central to this partnership and we are pleased to share our technical experience and expertise in helping to accelerate this.”

Kingsley Wheaton from BAT had this to say.

“We’re extremely proud and excited about this new partnership, further enabling us to accelerate the pace at which we innovate and transform ourselves.”

 ”It gives us a truly global platform with which to drive greater resonance of our potentially reduced risk products, including our Vype, Vuse and glo brands. ”

“ Ultimately, innovation and technology will support us in creating a better tomorrow’ for our consumers worldwide.”

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Haas reveal 2019 livery

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team are the first to reveal their livery for the 2019 season.

Note that this is just the livery and not the 2019 car although an 2019 front wing is present on the car. Haas are expected to reveal their new car on the first day of testing which gets underway on the 18th February.

Haas have a new title sponsor this year in Rich Energy, a premium energy drinks brand. Rich Energy were originally in talks to purchase Force India when the team went into administration in July last year but were rejected by the administrator.

The livery below is black and gold to represent Rich Energy’s cans and is the first black and gold livery in F1 since Lotus departed at the end of 2015.

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Felipe Nasr set to replace Gunther at Dragon

Former Formula One driver and current sportscar driver Felipe Nasr is will replace Maximilian Gunther at GEOX Dragon.

The Brazilian will make his debut in Mexico and will fill the seat for the remainder of the season. Nasr does have a conflict with the Rome E-Prix so is set to miss this round of the championship.

Max Gunther looks set to step in for Rome but will sit out the rest of the season and fill stay with the team as their test driver. The first 3 rounds of the championship have been challenging with crashes in qualifying in the first two rounds and 0 points scored so far.

Copyright: GEOX Dragon

Gunther had limited running in the Gen2 car prior to Ad Diriyah and on track incidents since have reduced his track time further.

Gunther was running high in the points before his Dragon shut down and would have probably finished in the top 6 otherwise.

Gunther has said that he was aware he wouldn’t be racing for the whole season but expects to make another appearance.

“It was clear from the beginning that I would share the season at Geox Dragon with another driver.”

“I know that I will be racing for Geox Dragon again this season. Until then, I will continue to do the simulator work and be a test and replacement driver for the team.”

“I had a lot of fun in Santiago de Chile, where I had a great race after my super qualifying until my retirement and I am looking forward to returning to the Penske EV-3 soon.”

In his first year of Formula 2 last year he impressed with the BWT Arden team taking podiums and a win in Silverstone.

The Dragon isn’t the quickest on the grid and Gunther handled himself as well as he could in the circumstances.

“Felipe has demonstrated incredible talent, scoring 29 points in his two seasons in Formula 1, and winning the 2018 IMSA Prototype Championship,” said team owner Jay Penske.

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Ferrari confirm Hartley and Wehrlein as simulator drivers

Scuderia Ferrari have confirmed four drivers will fill the role of simulator driver in 2019.

The role was previously occupied by Antonio Giovinazzi and Daniil Kvyat but the duo now have race seats with Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso respectively in 2019.

Ex-Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley and current Formula E driver Pascal Wehrlein are among the lineup, Ferrari veteran Davide Rigone and Ferrari Academy driver António Fuoco fill the other vacancies.

“Our team has taken on four undoubtedly talented drivers, who possess innate feeling, with a strong understanding of race cars and tracks.” Said Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto.

“These are exactly the qualities required in the skilful role of driving in a simulator, one of the vital pieces of equipment in the Formula 1 of today.”

All of this comes after changes in management occurred over the winter with Mattia Binotto replacing Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal.

This also comes after Ferrari announce they are planning to increase their budget for 2019 in a bid to make that final push to win their first title since 2008.

“While our Formula 1 performance last year was the best one since we won the constructors’ championship in 2008, we fell short of our ambition to raise the winners’ cup,” said Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri.

“Our objective going forward remains the same as it has always been, to win.”

“In 2019 we project an increase in spending which partially reflects this ambition, but also includes the development expenditures required to address the new tactical regulations that will form part of the envisaged Concorde agreement that should come into force in 2021.”

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