Mercedes W03, Silverstone, 2012

Mercedes W03 to make public debut as testing resumes

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Mercedes W03, Silverstone, 2012
Mercedes W03, Silverstone, 2012

In the round-up: Michael Schumacher will drive the new Mercedes W03 as testing resumes at the Circuit de Catalunya. A photo call will be held at 8:20am local time (7:20am in the UK).

Who are you supporting in 2012?

Pick the drivers and teams you’re backing during the 2012 F1 season. Log in and go to My account > Profile > Edit and then F1 teams and drivers to make your selection.

We’ll be taking a look at what are the most popular choices soon.


Alex Wurz Returns to Williams F1 (Williams)

Williams F1 today welcomed its 2007 race driver Alex Wurz back to the team to act as a driver mentor. Alex will start his duties at this week?s Barcelona test before accompanying the team to races this season.”

‘No big surprises’ on new Mercedes (Autosport)

Norbert Haug: “I don’t think that your eye will be caught by any big surprises when you see the car during the unveiling. But I certainly hope that we have some clever solutions and we have some good ideas incorporated on the car.”

Alexander Sims via Twitter

“A rookie is expected to bring X million dollars to get a drive, especially in HRT.”

Analysis – Sauber C31 nose vent (F1)

Sauber’s new take on the solution… is perfectly legal thanks to its location and smaller size.”

More sense to open Formula One season in Bahrain, say organisers (The National)

Bahrain Grand Prix chief executive Sheikh Salman bin Isa Al Khalifa: “To start in Bahrain would have made sense because it is the perfect time. That to me is the strongest thing, you don’t have to offer anything [financially].”

A big hello to our new boy – and his bum! (The Sun)

“The security guard who greeted [Vitaly Petrov] just before midnight had been sworn to secrecy about the mystery visitor who would be arriving that night. But the temptation to text his friends and tell them who he had just met must have been immense.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment(s) of the day

Just how many F1 cars are parked in London at the moment?

For anyone in central London today: Mercedes and Williams have F1 cars on display outside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET ?ǣ just off Parliament Square).

Don?t forget the McLaren on display at 1 Hyde Park (near Knightsbridge tube) and they used to have Damon Hill?s 1994 Williams on the ceiling of the Sports Cafe on Haymarket (Piccadilly tube) which may still be there

Talking about F1 cars in London, Zanardi’s 1999 Williams is on Fleet St, nearer the St Paul’s end. Saw it the other day (really random) in the foyer of some business building.

And I think Schumacher?s 2005 Ferrari is still in the Ferrari store on Regents Street.

So that’s six f1 cars you could see in London today!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Lou, Nirupam, Phiwe, Saiesh and Keamo!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The Bahrain race organisers bowed to the inevitable and postponed the season-opening race on this day last year.

But the race wasn’t cancelled for good for many more months:

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  • 37 comments on “Mercedes W03 to make public debut as testing resumes”

    1. Something still looks interesting on the top rear part of the new W03.
      Looking forward to the official launch. :)

      1. The rear of the car looks tiny! it’s really empty in front of the diffuser, and the suspension arms look very exposed!

    2. Well The williams is still supspended form the ceiling at sports cafe – although i had always thought it was just a fibreglass show car.

    3. I found this new shot of the W03 that I don’t think has been posted yet.

      1. I saw that picture earlier. The slots on the top rear part of the side pods look like cooling, but I suspect something a bit more clever…

      2. there’s a full gallery at that site, really.

      3. I think this finally proves my point that the Mercedes has gone for a more ’rounded’ approach to the step nose like Red Bull, Force India etc. As opposed to that seen on the Ferrari and Sauber :D

      4. The nose… why? D:

    4. Last time I checked there was a Red Bull in the window of an Infiniti dealership at W1J 8HU

      And of course Hakkinen’s wrecked McLaren from the 1999 European Grand Prix in the Science Museum.

      1. There is a 2009 McLaren at the Hugo Boss store at Westfield Stratford.

        1. Just drive up the m1 to Donningtoin collection, much better.

      2. I’m not really sure if it was already mentioned since I have no idea where it is, but what about the actual McLaren road car dealership in London? That had Senna’s MP4/4 (I think) when they launched the MP4-12C.

    5. Looks like Karthikeyan’s sponsors have struck again: he will be driving car #22 this year, with Pedro de la Rosa in car #23. They did this at the Indian Grand Prix last year, too, arranging for Karthikeyan to replace Ricciardo and Ricciardo to replace Liuzzi for no other reason than for Karthikeyan to have “lead” driver status within the team.

      1. Eh? Karthikeyen was #22 last year. Ricciardo was a replacement driver. So naturaly when Narain came back he came back in his car number and Ricciardo was replacing Liuzzi instead so took his number 23. Completely normal.

        I’m sure you are right about the sponsors getting him the 22 in the first place though.

    6. Spending money which one receives from a driver to help him in the big world of Formula 1 doesn’t exactly spell confidence…

    7. Hey i’m a long time reader, first time poster and im wondering how to post a new topic on the forums to ask a question. When i press the button nothing happens. thanks.

      1. @kcampos12 – The easiest way to do it is to go into the group you want – Formula 1, Auto GP, World Touring Cars, Endurance Racing; whatever – and find the forums tab. Then click “New Topic”, and the text window should open up at the bottom of the list of forum topics. If it doesn’t open up, try scrolling to the bottom manually. If the text window is not there, trying clicking on the New Topic button again. You may need to try several times – I just tried to get the text window to appear from the directory page (clicking “Forums” in the top-right corner of the screen), and I had to do it two or three times to make it appear.

        1. Thanks! didn’t realize i had to choose a group

    8. In Jerez Sauber evaluated a chassis vent similar in style to the one Ferrari used on the F2008’s nosecone back in 2008. At the time it was a significant innovation, allowing airflow from under the car to pass to the top of the chassis to improve the car’s overall aero balance. But the solution was banned by the FIA from 2009 when holes in the nose’s lower section were outlawed. Sauber’s new take on the solution, however, is perfectly legal thanks to its location and smaller size. The benefit of running the vent is thus much diminished, but in theory it should help reattach the airflow as it passes over the large step in the C31’s nose.

      If I’m reading this correctly, the steps in the noses seriously interrupt the flow of air over the car. If this is the case, why did so many teams opt for such a steep step? It makes far more sense (to my mind, at least) for the teams to use a much longer, shallower step, or go the whole hog and copy McLaren’s low-profile nose.

      I’m guessing that in future, we will see a lot of teams working with a Red Bull-style slit in the step, funnelling the air up through the bodywork and out of a vent the way Sauber has.

      1. Is it possible that a step could almost be a mid wing to generate some down force?(Wind hitting the step) Thats the only sense i can make out over those stepped noses. Probably wrong though.

        1. The downforce generated would be low compared to the massive drag, the step only generates downforce by “angle of attack” (very inefficient), not pressure differential above and below you get in a real wing.

      2. Its actually Mclarens low chassis monocoque that means they don’t have the step, the step is terrible for aero, but nessasary if you want a big airgap under the front of the monocoque. Apparently that big airgap under the car is more important in most teams minds.

      3. As others write here @prisoner-monkeys, its a choice between several evils. McLaren chose a clean upper side, lower suspension mounting over getting as much air as possible under the nose.
        The other teams went for a flat and high underside of the nose, therby having to live with the step on the (less important) upper side of the nose.

        But I think you are right in saying that teams will start and look at the Red Bull like slit (and more importantly, the small flap above that slit), or Saubers solution to reattach the airflow.

      4. Was it not immediately obvious to you that a steep step would create a low-pressure area above the nose? Missed a trick there PM.

        Interesting that the Red Bull slot has not come in for more analysis. I’d bet very good money that the air coming in there goes somewhere under the car – not under the nose, that’s not allowed. But under the back somewhere…

    9. “I think Formula One should start the world championship in a timezone that makes sense”, says Al Khalifa. I beg to differ. I think that Formula One should start the world championship in a place with some F1 history, a place which is known for producing great races. That place is definitely not Bahrain. People don’t want to see a boring race as a season opener. It doesn’t matter how convenient the timezone is.

      “That to me is the strongest thing”, he says… Who cares about racing, right?

      1. I agree.

        I’m biased being Australian.. But I think it’s fair for me to say that Bahrain has very little on an Australian start to the season, and the few things it does have would indicate we’d be better off starting in Europe itself!

      2. Not to mention the fact that its become something of a tradition of its own for European F1 fans to do an all nighter for the Australian GP by now.

        The last time we had Bahrain as first race they sadly messed up with using the GT-layout, making it swiftly go from a highly anticipated event with exiting new things and Schumi returning into “Bohrain”

    10. first pic ;)

    11. Any live coverage for the W03 launch and test today?

    12. I don’t think the timezone thing in Bahrain/Australia is really going to impact much, especially for the opening race. I’d say it was almost negligible.

    13. Regarding the COTD, I was in London in September and the Ferrari’s was still there.

      They wouldn’t let you take photos from downstairs at the bottom of the car though, but I didn’t care as I got to see an F1 car “in the flesh again” (the last one was a Toyota in Paris in 2003).

      1. @pjtierney Me and @MattHT managed to take some sneaky snaps from the outside but they were not keen on photography inside at all.

        I really liked the engine on display just next to it as well. We had no idea there was a Ferrari shop in London let alone an F1 car!

        1. Neither did I. I was in London for a design meetup with fellow artists and we just wandered past the store.

          Pics here towards the bottom:

          1. Thanks for sharing @pjtierney

    14. YAY!!! First ever comment of the day! I literally have tears streaming down my face! Not really – I’m at work – but thanks anyway!

    15. I’m surprised no-one’s commented on the Williams-Wurz thing. That seems like a good move for a team with two relative noobies, but how long is it since he was last in an F1 car? In any case I hope it pays off, they need all the performance they can squeeze out of the drivers.

    Comments are closed.