Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has taken pole position for today’s sprint race in Azerbaijan despite hitting the wall in the closing moments of the session.
It was the first outing of the new sprint weekend format, with an extra qualifying session to determine the starting order of the sprint race. The twelve-minute long SQ1 and ten-minute long SQ2 required the drivers to use the medium tyres, while the final eight-minute SQ3 mandated the use of a new set of soft tyres.
SQ1 ended with a bang when Logan Sargeant crashed at Turn 17, possibly distracted by the two slow Ferraris on the inside of the corner. With only 25 seconds left on the clock, the session wasn’t restarted.
In SQ2, Oscar Piastri narrowly missed out on advancing to the next stage by only +0.0032. His team-mate Lando Norris did scrape through, despite not having a new set of soft tyres available to him and therefore not being able to take part in SQ3!
Leclerc set the pace in the first runs of SQ3 and took provisional pole. On his second run, however, he hit the wall at Turn 5 and damaged his front wing. He was able to back out and continue round to the pits, but compromised his team-mate Sainz’s lap in the process.
Both Verstappen and Perez improved on their times in the closing moments, but it wasn’t enough to usurp Leclerc. It’s the Monegasque driver’s second pole of the weekend.
Showcased in London, Alpine’s new A523 was shown in not one, but two liveries.
The two liveries are very similar to last year. One is a mixture of blue, black and pink and will be run for the majority of the season. For Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Australia, however, Alpine will run a fully pink livery for sponsor BWT.
In comparison to the 2022 car and livery, there are very minimal changes. There was a bit more blue added to the front wing with more carbon being exposed, more than likely due to the weight of the car. The sidepods and floor have also changed a little bit according to the images.
Speaking about the car, the technical director at Alpine Matt Harman said, “These days are of course limited and not representative, but we’ve certainly had a great day and we now look forward to testing in Bahrain where we expect to continue our learning of the 2023 car.”
Speaking at the launch, Pierre Gasly, who has joined Alpine after leaving Alpha Tauri, said, “I’m extremely excited. Its a beautiful car. It’s a new beginning for me. A start of a new journey.”
Team Principal of Alpine Otmar Szafnauer said that the plan for the year is, “Less DNFs, more points, hopefully some podiums, a lot closer to 3rd and further away from 5th than we were in 2022.”
Speaking about last season, Pierre Gasly added, “Alpine has a fantastic season last year… The target is to consolidate 4th in the championship and close the gap to the top 3.”
Esteban Ocon said, “We are all very proud of the work that we have achieved and the little bonus that we drove the car already.”
Alpine conducted their shakedown on Monday and will head to Bahrain with the other teams next week to do three days of pre season testing before the first race of the season the following week.
Unveiling the brand new car at their factory today, the W14 has gone through a dramatic change in terms of its livery. Last year, the W13 went back to the roots of Mercedes’s nickname “The Silver Arrows” with an all silver livery. Vastly different to the 2021 and 2020 black liveries. However, given the German team’s performances in 2022, they have reverted back to the black primarily due to the weight limits.
The main concept of the W13 was retained but many parts were changed, inclyding the gulley bodeywork of the engine cover.
Speaking about the car, team principal Toto Wolff said “Our hopes and expectations are always to be capable of fighting for a World Championship. However, our competitors were very strong last year, and we are playing catch-up”
Driver George Russell, who picked up his first win at Brazil last year, said “I have been incredibly impressed with how the Team developed the car throughout last season. We have been building momentum throughout 2022 and we’re excited to see how that has progressed over the winter.”
Driver Lewis Hamilton added to his colleague’s comments by saying “I’m excited to go racing again. I feel calm, energised, and have my focus sharpened. I’m ready to do what’s necessary to win.”
Mercedes ran on 15th February but only managed 15kms before issues arose. Their official shakedown is planned for tomorrow, 16th February before pre season testing in Bahrain 23rd to 25th February before the first race weekend on 3rd to 5th March.
In the heart of their factory in Italy, the reveal saw the Tifosi line up on Valentine’s Day to see what their favourite team’s next car would look like
The SF-23 is very similar to their 2022 contender which saw a radical change primarily due to the major regulation changes.
image courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari
In terms of the livery, the SF-23 has seen more black visually on the car compared to last year. This is mostly notable on the rear. This could be related to the minimum weight requirement as stated in the regulations.
Speaking about the SF-23, Ferrari’s new Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur said “…the most important thing is the speed of the car. I think we are focussed on the livery today but quite soon we’ll be focussed on the performance.”
Speaking about the upcoming season, driver Charles Leclerc said: “We want to improve. Last year was a good step forward and we need to do just the same this year and hopefully get the championship. That is the target for the team and for me too. ”
Talking about the SF-23, driver Carlos Sainz said: “…the car is a bit more styled, a bit more redefined which is like a good evolution from last year, a lot more details in it”
The teams shakedown at Fiorano is on going but the team will pack up all their equipment and go to Bahrain for the pre season testing next week, February 23rd to February 25th before the opening round of the season a week later.
Aston Martin Formula One have revealed their 2023 car: the AMR 23.
The car is very similar to their 2022 car with an evolution from last year’s car. It comes in at 798Kilograms. Speaking about the AMR 23, the technical director Dan Fallowes said that it’s a “significant development” from the car we saw in the latter stages of 2022.
As for the aero side of the AMR 23, the sidepods do have an angle which is more depth compared to the AMR22. There will also be more airflow which made the AMR22 one of the most reliable cars of 2022.
90% of parts were changes due to aero.
The floor side of the AMR23 has had some changes, primarily due to the FIA’s changes of regulations which state that the floor must be rise by 15mm to reduce porpoising.
There are some safety changes which have been made to the AMR 23. The
role hoop has been made stronger. These changes were made by the FIA after Zhou Guanyu’s horrific crash at Silverstone in 2022. The mirrors have also has an increase in size due to the portpoising and the large 18-inch wheels.
Speaking about the future, Aston Martin Formula 1 Chairman Lawrence Stroll said “This year’s move into our new state-of-the-art factory is more than just a serious statement of intent: it will considerably strengthen and empower every single individual in this organisation, helping us to deliver on our ambition to narrow the gap to the front of the grid and, in time, become genuine championship frontrunners.”
The team principal Mike Krack said ” For this year, our aim must be to build a car that can fully deliver on its performance potential from the first moment it hits the track.
“Making a strong start to the year, and then maintaining that momentum, is necessary if we are to make further advances towards the front of the grid. And, as an organisation, we are working hard to achieve that, and to further strengthen all areas of the team.””
Dan Fallows said: “AMR23 is a significant development of the car we refined in the latter half of 2022 – and we have improved it in every critical area. It optimises the solutions we felt would offer us the most performance, and it embodies the joint vision we have embraced and have built together over the recent months.”
One of the newest recruits to the Aston Martin F1 family Fernando Alonso said: I have always said that I could see the ambition that shines bright at AMF1. And, as we launch the car in this brand-new factory, I think everyone can now see the scale of the ambition and determination at the heart of this organisation.
“Just as important is the car – and the AMR23 looks incredibly neatly packaged and highly efficient. I was pleasantly surprised when I sampled last year’s car for the very first time, and I think there is plenty of performance we can unlock together.”
Lance Stroll, said Looking at AMR23, I can see lots of new thinking and some aggressive work around the packaging and aerodynamics that should really help us out as we head into year two of these new rules.”
Aston Martin will be running the AMR23 at Silverstone on Wednesday 15th February. With Lance starting in the morining and Fernando running in the afternoon.
Revealing the car at their HeadQuarters in Woking, UK today, Lando Norris and rookie Oscar Piastri pulled back the covers to reveal their car for the 2023 Formula One season.
The 2023 car has some visible differences primarily at the rear of the car. There is a lot more exposed carbon which, as a result, has led to a deduction in the amount of light blue used on the car.
Speaking about the launch, the CEO of McLaren Racing Zak Brown said: “This year’s driver line-up is extremely exciting as Lando, an intelligent and confident driver with excellent pace, is joined by one of the biggest up-and-coming talents in motorsport with Oscar.” He went on to also say “We are thrilled to celebrate this significant journey with our fantastic group of committed and valuable partners. Their support is an integral part in the journey to achieving our ambitions. “
The team Team Principal of McLaren Formula One Andrea Stella said “During our time away from racing, we have enjoyed welcoming Oscar to the McLaren Technology Centre and we have worked together to build strong relationships and to be fully prepared for the start of his career in Formula 1. He has quickly integrated in the team and gained much respect, thanks to his humility, bright intellect, and dedication. It’s also been great to resume the work with Lando, who is now showing the qualities of a leader as he supports the journey of the team.”
Lando Norris, who is now entering his 5th season with the team and in Formula One, said “This is my fifth year in Formula 1 and I’m hoping to carry positive momentum into the new season after a year of racing under the new era of regulations. It’s been a good challenge adapting to them and I feel that I’m in a positive position to keep on improving as a driver. I’ve enjoyed my journey with the team so far and to be involved in McLaren’s 60th anniversary is a privilege. I’ll continue to work hard alongside Oscar throughout this significant year as we look to maximise opportunities to score points.”
Formula 2 and Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri said ” The time I’ve spent at the factory and in the sim has been enjoyable and productive, and everyone in the team has been welcoming. I’ve settled in well and I’m now fully focused on getting out on track in Bahrain.
“The MCL60 is very impressive and it’s going to be a memorable year, not just for me in my rookie season but also as a team celebrating 60 years of McLaren Racing. The challenge ahead is an exciting one and I’m looking forward to driving with Lando as we work hard to pick up points throughout the season.””
The MCL60 will have its official debut on the track of the Bahrain International Circuit on 23rd February, just 1 week ahead of the opening race on 5th March.
Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake have revealed their 2023 car. Unveiling it in a live stream, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu pulled back the cover off of the C43 and it has undergone some serious livery changes in comparison to 2022.
The most notable difference is the main white from the C42 has gone and changed for the new black design. This is more than likely due to the weight limit changes for 2023. As Stake is the new title sponsor of Alfa Romeo, they are featured heavily in the design. As a result, Orlen has parted ways from the design and is absent from this year’s design.
Speaking about the new car, the Managing Director of Sauber Group and Twam Representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi said “Bringing a car to life is a long process which touches every department of a racing team, therefore it’s a moment of great pride to see it unveiled today.” Continuing on, Alessandro said, “Everyone in the team is committed to this target and we are confident we will reap the rewards of our work.”
Technical Director of Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Jan Monchaux said “This car is an evolution of last year’s, reflecting the new regulations and introducing major changes in the areas where we found improvements to be needed. I hope it’s going to be quicker than the successful car we had last year, that’s what matters most, and more reliable as well: we have put a lot of effort in this direction”
Speaking about the upcoming season, Valtteri Bottas said “. It’s been an interesting first season with the team, we made some pretty solid progress together, and now there’s only one direction to follow: up, higher, and better. There is obviously still work to do and things to improve, but I am confident we have it in ourselves to aim for even higher results this year. ”
Following on from words from his teammate, Zhou Guanyu said “The expectation for this year is definitely higher, and I will carry all the experience from my rookie season into 2023. I’m excited for what’s coming, and I’m fully ready to attack.”
Formula 2 driver and reserve driver for Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake Theo Pourchair said “First of all, I am thankful and honoured to be taking part in my first Formula One launch as a reserve driver for the team. It is great to see the efforts paying off, and I cannot wait to get started! I have seen the great amount of work that has been put into bringing the car from paper to reality, and I am happy for everyone back at the factory, I think they have done an amazing job.”
The C43 will be hitting the track in a shakedown test in Barcelona this week followed by winter testing in Bahrain towards the end of the month.
Williams Racing have revealed their brand new livery for their Formula One contender, the FW45. The design is based on their previous car the FW44 with the most notable changes being towards the rear of the car with a different design and an outline of the numbers. The design also features a matte colour finish.
Speaking about the FW45, returning Williams Racing driver Alex Albon said “The car looks great and will hit the track at Silverstone. The team has worked really hard last year and over the winter to address some key areas in our car, putting in the work to try and maximise what we get out of the car for 2023, so I’m looking forward to seeing what the FW45 can do.”
One of the few changes coming to Williams in 2023 is rookie Logan Sargeant. Regarding the car, Logan said “I’m super motivated and we’ve put a lot of hard work in. The car is looking amazing and it shows the huge effort the team has put in the off-season, so I’m looking forward to getting started at Silverstone before heading out to Bahrain.”
Many new sponsors also join the team in 2023. Gulf Oil International, Stephens and Michelob ULTRA are just to name a few. These feature across the livery and racing suits.
Speaking about the upcoming year, the chairman of the board Matthew Savage said “We are excited about this year’s car, and I cannot thank the entire team at Grove enough for their hard work to get ready for the season.
“I am delighted to welcome both new and existing partners to our journey. With our new Team Principal James Vowles joining us later this month, as well as our exciting driver lineup of Alex and Logan, Williams Racing will be giving its all in 2023.”
Both Albon and Sargeant will take the FW45 to the Silverstone Track on 13th February as it undertakes its first laps of the season.
Red Bull Racing have revealed the RB19 livery and a partnership with Ford during an event in New York
The event from New York features interviews from Christian Horner, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. However, the main points of interest from the event were the reveal of the RB19 and the announcement of the Ford and Red Bull Racing Collaboration from 2026.
To The livery of the RB19 is very similar in relation to the design. The only main differences seem to be the changes of the sponsors from Puma to Castore in terms of merchandise. Rokt has also appeared on the side of the livery .Other than that, the livery has remained the same.
The main feature of the long stream, however, was the announcement of Ford and Red Bull Racing’s collaboration from 2026. According to Formula One’s official website, this collaboration will start in 2023 with Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri taking the engine from 2026 until 2030, at least. Speaking about the collaboration, Christian Horner said “It’s fantastic to be welcoming Ford back into Formula 1 through this partnership.” He goes on to say “They are a manufacturer rich in motoring history that spans generations. From Jim Clark to Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher, the lineage speaks for itself.” Jim Farley, CEO and President of Ford Motor Company, also stressed, however, that, with this new collaboration, Ford will be looking to win in F1 with Red Bull.
What do you think of the RB19? Do you think the the Ford and Red Bull Racing collaboration will be a success?
Featuring a mixture of both black and white with hints of red around the front and rear wing, the new livery features the new title of MoneyGram International Inc. This relationship was announced just before the US Grand Prix last year.
Speaking on the livery launch, Haas Team Owner Gene Haas said: “I was very pleased to welcome MoneyGram as title partner for the 2023 season and beyond, and it’s exciting to see our first livery unveiled together as MoneyGram Haas F1 Team.” Following on, Haas went on to say “We head into a new season buoyed by some strong team performances last year and a return to points paying finishes.”
Moneygram Chairman and CEO Alex Holmes added: “We’ve collaborated in lockstep to bring this livery to life, leaning into our many similarities while also playing off of each of our unique strengths.
“As we both usher in a brand-new era with a clear plan and vision in place, we’re prepared to work closely together to reach new heights this year. The sleek livery design is symbolic of who MoneyGram is today, a company ready for the future, and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.
“The sleek livery design is symbolic of who MoneyGram is today, a company ready for the future, and we couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.”
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said “I like the livery. It’s undoubtedly a more elevated and modernised look which is fitting as we move into a new era alongside MoneyGram as our title partner. It’s an exciting time of year for Formula 1 and it’s great that we’re first out the gate to showcase our livery but our attention is firmly on getting the VF-23 on-track and preparing for the season ahead.”
Haas will complete a shakedown of the VF-23 at Silverstone on Saturday 11 February. Pre-season testing begins in Bahrain from 23rd to 25th, one week before the first race weekend of the season, which also takes place in Sakhir.