2017 Car Launches: Who's In Pole Ahead Of Season Opener?

Philip Boeckman Formula One

The wait is almost over; preparation for the 2017 Formula One season gets underway today with testing from Barcelona after a week of car launches.

From fancy events to online launches, each constructor unleashed their take on the new regulations, with shark fins, curved front wings and boat-sized bargeboards the order of the day. 

Sauber were first to unveil their design with a look that harks back to the William's Rothman that Damon Hill drove to title glory in the mid-nineties. 

Of the major players, Ferrari were perhaps the largest radical thinkers. Their small radiators and winglet atop of their hood suggested that they see aerodynamics as key to success this season and have taken a gamble in the hope they've stolen an edge on their rivals. 

Red Bull took deception to a whole new level with their launch; their RB13 challenger appeared to lack any form of aerodynamics, whilst the back of the car was shielded as closely as possible. Talk of a title-winning diffuser is circulating around the paddock, and Red Bull are doing everything in their power to ensure a rival doesn't catch a glimpse of their Adrian Newey-inspired innovation.

At the opening day of pre-season testing, Mercedes were as dominant as they've been for the past two years. They were two seconds faster than anyone else in the opening session before toning it down and spent the rest of the session testing medium-tyre wear. 

Philip Boeckman Formula one

It should be noted, of course, that pre-season testing offers us next to nothing in terms of pace and expected performance levels. Yes, a lack of testing a la McLaren 2014 or a trail-blazing series by Mercedes last year can offer suggestions of expected performance, but testing is all about getting to grips with the car, testing aero and tyre degradation. One such example this year could be Renault. Nico Hulkenburg was three seconds off the fastest time this morning in his first spin for his new team. Alarm bells won't be ringing just yet, but perhaps we're catching a glimpse of the first casualty of this new era of regulation. 

Philip Boeckman

Huge fan of @F1 and Motor Racing in general. I blog about anything and everything from the world of Formula 1