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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Formula 1 - Cars Unveiled

Over the last few weeks, most of the teams have revealed their new cars; each in the hope that it's an improvement on last year, and it will carry their drivers (and the team) to Championship glory.

Each team has tried to find something different, that will give them the extra power and downforce needed to keep the car on the track, and ahead of the field.  There have even been some changes to the technical specifications.

This year sees the re-introduction of KERS (Kinetic Energy Replacement System) a system that uses the energy from braking and using it to provide an additional power boost.  Last seen in the 2009/10 season, it was only used by a few teams, and last year was banned.  However, all the teams are using it this year, and it's the kind of technical advance that could have a very real benefit in the road cars of tomorrow.

Is this the dream team for 2011?
The F-duct; pioneered by McLaren last year, has been banned; instead the teams are using a flexible rear wing; to help introduce more over-taking.  Since the turbulence of the the lead car, causes the car behind to lose grip; this change will help the chasing driver get closer and, hopefully overtake.  There is an argument that says this isn't the drivers racing, but the car doing the work; on the other hand, it should make for a better show.

Each of the above is governed by rules about when they can be used, and policing them will be important.  No doubt the teams will be watching each other very carefully.

The next round of testing takes place this week, and it will be the first time McLaren have put the new car to the test.

I have lots of fingers crossed that it compares well to the other teams, and we have a great season to look forward to.
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As a footnote; the accident the befell Robert Kubica (Renault) looks like he'll be out for this season.  After major surgery to repair an almost severed hand, I will be very surprised if he makes it back behind the wheel of a Formula One car this year.  Of course, I hope he does; but the boss at Renault has hinted that they are looking for a permanent replacement this season.  
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