February 04, 2015

F1 Pr0n: 2015 MegaPr0n

Amazingly, while I've been off being disinterested in pretty much everything the world of Formula 1 hasn't slowed down one whit.  The first round of pre-season testing at Jerez is almost finished, and that's swell.  We've gotten to hear the new Honda engine, which is cool as heck, but the first test session is often spent working out the kinks and trying to keep the cars running on track. 

Unless you're Mercedes this year, who seem to be so confident that they spent a few hours on Tuesday running on Intermediates to see how long they'll last on a dry track.  This while McLaren was happy to average less than 10 laps per day in their revamped car. 

But the really big thing about the first round of tests is that we finally get to see the new cars... and that's what we call F1 Pr0n around these-here parts!  Shall we take a look?

McLaren MP4-30

Last year at this time, we were talking about the various proboscis sported by the cars, and just how... um... less than attractive they tended to be.  No worries this year, as those have been mostly legislated away.  There's still some variety to the noses, though.  McLaren has chose to use a long, low, sloping nose that extends past the front wing.  We'll see this style again.

The team says that this isn't the final livery, and I hope that's the case.  The lack of title sponsors is... disturbing.  That this is looking to be the team's second year without a major sponsor is even more disturbing.  If a legendary name like "McLaren" can't pull in a big name sponsor, what does that say for the chances of smaller teams?

I kinda wish they'd step away from the pewter and black.  The meatball fan in me is screaming "bring back McLaren Orange!"  Is that too much to ask?  It is?  Okay.  Can they at least make up their mind with the red, then?  Extend it to the rear of the car, have a red line separating the pewter and black.  That'd look great.  Speaking of red...

Ferrari SF15-T

Same basic nose style as the McLaren.  There seems to be less sculpting to the front of the car up towards the cockpit, but that might be an optical illusion.  I am fairly certain that the sidepod openings for the radiators are smaller than on the McLaren.

Ferrari is saying that the rear of the car is more tightly packaged as opposed to last year's F14T, and at least upon first glance it looks that way.  The sidepods seem rounder, too.  More cooling? 

Rear wing has almost no cutout to it.  I don't know what that means, but it's the truth.  All in all, it's a Ferrari.  Hopefully for the team and the sport, it'll be somewhat better than last year's car.  No more Alonso to make it look good, remember!

Sauber C34

The second style of nose that we'll be seeing.  It's sort of a cross between the proboscis and the long flat nose of the McLaren and Ferrari.  Those sidepod inlets look tiny.

Big props to the team from Hinwil for getting away from the current trend of grays and blacks!  Sure, that's because Banco de Brasil is their new sponsor, but still!  It's a lot better looking than last year's car.

Front wing endplates are narrower than last year's, I notice.  Sidepod has much less sculpting and undercut than in the past  All in all, a nice looking car.  I'd love to have an entire field of bright cheerful racers!

Williams FW37

A variant on the Sauber's nose, a little stub as opposed to a bigger stub.  I think I'm only going to point out the radiator inlets if there's something unique about them from now on: "wow, those are big," that sort of thing. 

Remember when the cars had thousands of winglets and bargeboards and aerodynamic gewgaws strewn about them in haphazardly random locations?  I'm really glad those days are gone. 

Seriously, the best darn livery on the grid right now.  So clean, so tidy, so sharp.  Of course, it helps when you've got the classic Martini logo to work with, too.

Mercedes W06

Sure, Mercedes, be all different and don't give us a low-angle nose shot.  That's fine.  Be different.  Of course, they are the double World Champions, I suppose they can get away with it, can't they?  A different type of nose from the others, narrower and shorter, not even extending past the front wing.  I wonder what they know (or think they know) that's different from the other teams?
That sea-foam green.  I dunno.  At least there's less of it than last year.  Dear god, that front wing is just artwork... curved, arched, layered, and free-standing.  That's just pretty stuff right there.

Seriously, Mercedes, is it too much to have your car face the same way as everybody else?  Oh look... silver AND black.  How original.

Toro Rosso STR-10

Toro Rosso has never gone in for all that there "studio shots" stuff, preferring to let the media do the photographic work for them.  Unfortunately, that means no good nose shot.  Big undercut to the sidepods, and a standard McLaren/Ferrari nose.

I don't see anything here that makes me sit up and go "wow, that's different or new."  That's not a bad thing usually, but Toro Rosso had a less-than-stellar year.  That's probably down to the Renault engine being a dog, but one would think they might want to go for something a touch more... radical?  I wonder what sort of R&D budget they get from Red Bull...?

Lotus E23

Last year, Lotus brought the innovative dual-tusk nose.  The problem was, of course, that it didn't work very well, and indeed pointed out that the rest of the car was kinda lopsided, too.  It was Will Buxton who pointed out that the exhaust on the E22 was off-center, and the entire back was a touch askew as well.  Nothing like that this season!  The nose is McLaren-style, sidepods are mostly straight, the entire chassis is pretty conventional.  After the debacle of last season, that's a good thing.  Now if the Renault engine puts out more horsepower than the 4-cyl in my Camry, maybe the team will return to form.

I'm sure you've been wondering where Red Bull is.  I'm saving them for last because of their testing livery.  Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the...

Red Bull RB11

Livery by Keith Haring.  This is actually a camouflage design to prevent the other teams from getting a clear look at their bodywork.  It's a trick used a lot in the car industry to disguise new features on prototypes, but there's  some talk out there that it's for a more nefarious purpose.

To whit, some think that Red Bull is running a cosmetically-modified RB10 chassis because the actual RB11 is behind schedule.  The only way you could tell would be to get up close to it, and this eye-searing livery prevents that as surely as a shot of pepper spray to the ocular region. 

No, it's really to prevent cameras from picking up much in the way of detail. As it was, I had to massage the side shots with a 'shooping program to bring out what details I could... I'll bet that autofocus cameras weep in despair.  It's a Mercedes-style nose, though shorter with a little extension to make it all legal.  As much as it pains me to say it, I want Red Bull to do well.  Anything to challenge the Mercedes domination is okay with me.

So there we are.  Those are the announced cars.  Right now, we're waiting for Force India and Marussia to show up, and there's some question as to whether Marussia ever will.  We shall see.  We're six weeks from Australia!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:39 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 1310 words, total size 10 kb.

1 Clearly Red Bull has adopted dazzle camouflage to make torpedo attacks on their cars more difficult.

Posted by: flatdarkmars at February 05, 2015 07:37 AM (h7xWz)

2 There's really no way to get around the fact that the front wing is a big flat box with a lot of crap in it, is there? Is that something which happened over some number of years or has it always been more-or-less like that?

Posted by: GreyDuck at February 05, 2015 08:27 AM (AQ0bN)

3 Like everything else on a F1 chassis, the front wing has evolved.  For example, here's the wing from the Honda in 2009 pre-season testing.  Or the BMW in 2008.  In 1997, the McLaren MP4/12 had an easier to understand wing.  Here's the Tyrrell 020 from 1991.  Going back farther, the MP4/2b in 1985 had wings from a simpler, more civilized time.  Pay no attention to the 1983 Tyrrell 012's rear wing, look at the front.   The front wing on the 1976 Ferrari 312T would be laughed at today.  The 1975 Brabham/Martini had a different style of front wing.  Preceding this, the 1970 Lotus 72 tried to use the entire front of the car as a wing.  But in 1965, the Honda RA 272 had no front wing at all... which was common.

So from a single-celled thing to the complex peacock of today, in 50 years.  Of course this doesn't include so many others... so so many others.

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 05, 2015 01:31 PM (jGQR+)

4 @flatdarkmars, Torpedo attacks are allowed in F1 racing?  I may have to take time to watch them this year...

Posted by: Siergen at February 05, 2015 04:54 PM (/CwtH)

5 No torpedoes, but railguns are permitted under this year's rules.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 05, 2015 09:03 PM (+rSRq)

6 However, they have to be powered by KERS. That way they can't fire very often.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 06, 2015 03:27 PM (+rSRq)

7 All kidding aside: Thanks for that retrospective on F1 design, there. In a weird sort of way, that makes the current front-wing situation make a lot more sense.

Posted by: GreyDuck at February 07, 2015 10:30 PM (AQ0bN)

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