2011 Formula One Season Preview – The Cars Rpmgo.com

Yesterday we talked about the team & drivers, calendar and rule changes. Today we are going to conclude the 2011 F1 preview series by talking a little bit about the cars. One of the first teams to roll out the 2011 F1 car was Ferrari with their F150 model. This new model is the team’s 57 single-seater F1 racer and like the rest of the cars from the 2011 lineup, it will come with a bundle of innovative aspects that were mostly dictated by the new regulations imposed by FIA.

Ferrari F150

The F150 will be powered by a 2398 cm3 V8 cast aluminum Type 056 engine that has a curb weight of only 95 kg. The power is sent to the rear wheels with the help of the longitudinal, semiautomatic, sequentially electronically-controlled gearbox with 7 speeds. The car is built on a carbon-fiber & honeycomb composite structure and features an independent suspension. To stop the car, the engineers at Ferrari fitted their new F1 racer with carbon-fiber disc brakes. The F150 rolls on 13-inch BBS rims. The car will be driven this year by the same pilots as before: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Lotus Renault R31

On the last day of January, Lotus Renault GP launched their R31 2011 F1 car in the presence of Vitaly Petrov, Robert Kubica and Eric Boullier. In addition to the launch of the car, the team announced that Bruno Senna will be the third driver for the team this year.

Mercedes GP W02

After a very disappointing 2010 season, Mercedes GP hopes that their new W02 car will be more successful in the upcoming Formula One season. The official sponsor of the team will be Petronas. In comparison with last year’s car, the W02 has a higher nose design which you will also see on the Ferrari F150 and the Lotus car. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher will be driving the car this year.

Lotus T128

The second Lotus team of 2011 will be the UK-based Team Lotus. Their T128 car is powered by a V8 RS27-2011 engine borrowed from Renault and is built on a carbon fiber chassis with a carbon fiber body. Basically, almost the entire car is made out of carbon, including the front & rear suspension. The engine is mated to a Red Bull Technologies transmission. The 128 has Penske & Multimatic dampers, an ATL fuel cell and an AP racing clutch and calipers. Behind the wheel of the car this year we will see Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen.

Williams FW33

On February 1st, the Williams Cosworth Formula F1 team released their FW33 car that will come with the smallest 7-speed gearbox ever produced by Williams F1, which will work in conjunction with the all-new pull-rod rear suspension. The car will have a curb weight of only 640 kg, which is 20kg more in comparison with the 2010 model; weight distribution will be 46:54. The car will be driven by Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado.

Sauber C30

Also on the first of this month Sauber launched their C30 2011 F1 car which will be powered by a Ferrari-sourced 2,398 cc naturally-aspirated V8 engine, mated to Ferrari’s 7-speed quick-shift carbon gearbox. Similar with other F1 cars, the C30 features a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis. The car measures 4,935 mm in length, 1,800 mm in width, and 1,000 mm in height and has a curb weight of 640 kg, including the driver and with the tank empty. In comparison with the 2010 model, it has a raised front, a compact rear, a slender waist and a new rollhoop. The C30 will be driven by Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez.

Red Bull RB7

Red Bull launched their RB7 F1 car at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, located near Valencia, Spain. Similar with all the other cars, the new model features a high nose, a new rear wing and the KERS system. The livery for this car is just about the same as the one you saw last year. The RB7 will be driven by the current world champion Sebastian Vettel and his teammate, Mark Webber.

Toro Rosso STR6

Another car that will feature a Ferrari engine will be Torro Rosso’s STR6. The car will use a V8 Type 056 engine borrowed from the Italian manufacturer which will be mated to a 7-speed hydraulic transmission. To stop the car, the team’s engineers fitted the SRT6 with Brembo brakes. This year, the car will be driven by Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari.

McLaren MP4-26

Yesterday in Berlin, McLaren unveiled the MP4-26 F1 car which will be driven by Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. The car comes with the KERS system which has been installed inside the safety cell, under the fuel tank. It also has a new air intake on the engine cover that takes care of the hydraulics and the transmission.

Next week we will update this article after Virgin will release the MVR-02 F1 racer (on Feb 7th) and Force India their VJM04 car (on Feb 8th). Hispania will probably launch their F111 car sometime next week.

UPDATE 1:

Marussia Virgin MVR-02

As promised, here are the most important details about the MVR-02 F1 car launched by Marussia Virgin Racing. Like all the other F1 cars, it is built on a carbon fiber monocoque chassis and features a carbon and titanium suspension system with Penske dampers.

The car is powered by a 2,400 cc V8 Cosworth engine with a max rev range of 18,000 rpm. The power unit has a curb weight of about 95 kg and is fueled by a FT5 safety specification fuel cell with a 220-liters capacity.

The MVR-02 packs AP Racing 4 pot brake calipers with Hitcho carbon fiber discs and pads. In addition, it has an electronically controlled hydraulic differential as well as an AP Racing clutch.

All of these specifications look good on paper but I doubt that they will make more than 5-10 points this upcoming season.

UPDATE 2:

Hispania F111

Today, Hispania unveiled its F111 car that was developed by a group of engineers led by Geoff Willis and chief designer Paul White. Their car has a rather unusual nose in comparison with the other cars that we’ve seen before and we can’t tell if you if they decided to equip the F111 with the famous KERS system.

The officials of the team said that the car will undergo several updates throughout the season, but this isn’t really news as all the teams will update their cars.

The car will be driven this year by Narain Karthikeyan and another driver yet to be decided.

UPDATE 3:

Force India VJM04

The last team that revealed the car for the upcoming F1 season was Force India. The VJM04 will be raced by Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta, who was the third driver of the team last year. This year, the third driver will be ex-Williams pilot Nico Hulkenberg.

Andrew Green, technical director of the team, said that “the most obvious visual change is that we’ve gone away from a conventional roll-hoop to a blade.” He added that this offers a small packaging improvement when compared to a more conventional style. The engine cover of the VJM04 F1 car is different, in-line with the F-duct system banning.


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