2014 F1 car launches – Ferrari F14-T

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Ferrari have been working pretty damn hard in the background throughout 2013 to bolster their team in preparation for 2014.

Two world class signings I’m Kimi and James Allison have really provided a big boost. If 2014 is not successful it will not because their drivers or their tech staff are not good enough.

The car certainly isn’t a looker with that big bird nose (Sesame Street). I’m no aero expert but the pilots connecting the wing look very short to me. I’m sure Pat Fry and the aero team know what they’re doing but the airflow under the car must be lessened.

It is always great to see footage from inside Maranello, which is unlike any modern F1 facility. It still has a very original look and feel to it.

Interestingly Ferrari have stuck with pull-rod front suspension which might explain such a large drop of the nose just after the mounting points.

The MP4-29 has a much more gradual drop (and looks much more like the mclarens of old).

It will be very interesting to see how the different chassis do against each other with Ferrari power. I would not be surprised at all to see Toro Rosso and Sauber to be surprise packages.

But for now, I leave you with the Ferrari front nose section.

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2014 F1 car launches – McLaren MP4-29

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There is a mood of change and a renewed drive over in Woking at the moment. Senior management changes and impending new technical arrivals.

After a nightmare year in 2013, changes were inevitable, and many McLaren fans have been awaiting today’s launch with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. This year needs to be all about a statement of intent for the impending arrival of Honda works power in 2015. And in the meantime, the likely hood is the Mercedes power unit will be the match of its rivals.

I have to say, I quite like the thought of McLaren running no big sponsor this year. It might actually help the brand strengthen.

Equally the MP4-29 I think looks like a really purposeful car. Business like and despite the ridiculous nose tips, the lower swoop looks much more like a McLaren to me. I’d have preferred to see an orange livery at least for testing (reinstating a McLaren tradition for testing from years past).

I have to say, having grown up in the era of Williams and McLaren, I’d love to see a strong performance from “Team Ron”. I’ll post some pictures and video from the Jerez test next week.

For those rattling the cage of McLaren next year, we might just see the fightback starting in Tuesday.

McLaren Infographic on the MP04-29
McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 Infographic
Source: McLaren.com

If you’d like technical evaluations of today’s launch car there are many great resources online (you can’t go wrong with Craig Scarborough and Matt Somerfields blogs for quality explanations).

John Button – a great Motorsport dad

It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of John Button.

A very popular man across the paddock, he’s been a steadying and continuing influence over Jensons’ career

It’s a great credit to John that people right across the paddock have stated his great ability to know when to stay in the background.

If I had a pound for every time I had heard from a Motorsport buddy about the negative influence many a young drivers parents can have on their sons career I’d be fairly well off to day the least.

From the overpowering influence of those trying to live their dreams through their offspring, to the chap that thinks he can engineer his son or daughters car better than the highly qualified teams around them, Motorsport has seen them all.

The great thing for any parent is to see their child achieve a target or a lifetimes ambition,. If we can be thankful for anything, it’s that John got the time to enjoy Jensons world champion year.

Not only that, but seeing his young JB pull off some of the great wins of the modern era.

I witnessed first hand in Barcelona just how many people in the paddock had time for John, watching him take about 15 mins to get from one end to the other. Stopping to talk to people who he’s come to know over the years.

He was perhaps a lesson to all of us that are lucky enough to be parents. Sometimes your greatest gift is knowing when to push and intervene but equally, when it’s time to sit back and let them get on with it.

It’s a lesson that many Motorsport parents could take heed from.

So we will see many glasses of red will doubtlessly be raised to John later in the month when F1 gets back down to business at Jerez.

Rest in peace John, you will be sadly missed.

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