On Friday, January 24, Formula 1 teams Ferrari, McLaren, and Lotus revealed images of their 2014 cars along with their chosen new names. Releases came from each team via press announcements and websites. According to Ferrari, the fan-chosen name for their 2014 car is "F14 T."
Drivers get so much of both the glory and the shame in Formula 1 racing; however, there is one time each season, or pre-season that is, when it's the constructors who reign supreme as far as getting attention -- that time is right before and during testing of the new race cars for the year. With a major change in engines this season from V8s to turbo V6s, fans have looked forward to this season's unveiling of teams' new cars with perhaps even more anticipation and curiosity than usual.
According to Formula 1, Ferrari, McLaren, and Lotus all revealed their new cars to the world on Friday, January 24, just a few days before pre-season testing is to begin at Jerez, Spain. A contest that Ferrari ran for its fans online gave a handful of choices in names for the new car from which fans were allowed to vote via the Internet. Fans chose the first name on the ballot, "F14 T."
The car is the 60th single-seater race car built for competition in Formula 1 by Ferrari. Following the new 2014 rules, the engine is a 1.6 liter, V6 turbo. Unlike the step-noses of McLaren and other models revealed so far, however, Ferrari managed to design their car with a sleeker front.
About the change in formula for this year, Ferrari team principal Stefano Domencali said, "I think as far as I remember this year the technical challenge is the biggest that we’ve seen in the last 10 years of F1."
McLaren's silver MP4-29 has a several-step nose construction. According to Formula 1, the team said it went at the new design with what it called "a sensible and calculated response to the new regulations." Their hopes are high after going through a 2013 season with no podium finishes -- a disappointment McLaren has not endured since 1980.
McLaren’s managing director Jonathan Neale commented, "We’ve never had such significant new regulations before; reacting to them, and managing those changes, while still pushing the performance limits, has been an extremely tough job."
Fans are not particularly thrilled with the design of the new McLaren, with several comments already on Facebook fan sites calling the new car's look downright "ugly."
On Friday, team Lotus also revealed the look of its new car, the E22. Like Force India and Williams days before, Lotus chose to first release a digital rendering of the car rather than a photograph. The team will forgo the first test session and wait for the next one in Bahrain before it brings out the car for a test drive.
Lotus announced also on Friday that co-chairman Gerard Lopez is the new team principal after Eric Boullier's departure.
According to Formula 1, Force India was the first Formula 1 team to release pictures of its new car, the VJM07, which it did on January 22nd. Williams also showed digital drawings of its FW36 the next day.
Other teams will roll out their new race cars in Jerez when testing begins on January 28.
The 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship will begin with the Australian Grand Prix on March 16 in Melbourne.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. With a historic racer from upstate New York, she is working on a new book about racers and racing. Feel free to visit Connie's blog at Motor Sport Muse.