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All of the new 2023 F1 cars have been presented: What stood out?

All of the new 2023 F1 cars have been presented: What stood out?

18-02-2023 15:58
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GPblog.com

After a long winter break, all Formula 1 teams have presented their cars for the new season. Or at least the colour schemes and liveries of the 2023 cars. After the launches and ahead of the winter tests, the question is justified: What have we discovered?

A year after the most sweeping rulebook change in decades in Formula 1 was implemented, the 2023 season for the teams is mainly about building on the concepts introduced then. For a team like Red Bull - although the real car for next season has not yet been shown to the outside world - that makes perfect sense, for Mercedes it does not seem so.

Continuing on track

A setback is an understatement to describe Mercedes' last season. Last season, the team of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell chose to race with minimised sidepods, a concept that proved anything but successful. Yet Mercedes decided to stick with it. According to Toto Wolff this is because his team had figured out that the initial idea behind it was indeed correct. The team boss indicated during the presentation that further changes will be made to the sidepods in the coming months, but the concept remains intact.

Mercedes could have chosen to imitate last year's Red Bull (they would not have been the only team), but that would have meant Mercedes effectively hitting the reset button. Starting from scratch would have meant a probably bigger gap on Red Bull and Ferrari, and then on top of that hope that the right choices have been made this time. Safer to build on a concept of which they have now gained a lot of knowledge and try to perfect it. Mercedes will be competitive again - Wolff is convinced of that - but it may take some time to get there.

Bold presentation

Ferrari didn't end up becoming World Champions (far from it), but the car concept was basically fine. Like Mercedes, the Italian team are therefore continuing along the same path, further updating Ferrari's strengths. The reliability of the power unit has also reportedly been improved and there is even said to be an upgrade in horsepower. Good news: the engine survived the first power test, although the challenge was no longer than five laps.

In front of a group of frenzied fans, Ferrari sent the SF-23 out onto the track immediately after all the formalities. Imagine: the Ferrari fell silent in front of the Tifosi and live cameras, or there were technical problems! None of that. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are confident in the new Ferrari. Judging from what we saw, that confidence is justified.

Two Alpine cars presented

Alpine decided to present two cars, as they did in 2022. According to a GPblog staff member who attended Alpine's presentation in England(!), it was an eventful evening. Chaos, chaos, chaos. After a slight delay, a long-winded programme passed by, culminating in the launch of not one, but two Alpine cars. Like last season, the team will use two different colour schemes throughout the year.

With Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, Alpine aim to get closer to the top three teams this year, be on the podium more often and, above all, have a more reliable car. At no other car launch has a team's confidence been as high as at Alpine. It has to be said: the 2022 car was at its core a fast car, quite capable of taking a step forward with updates. Just have to make sure the '23 car manages to cross the finishing line a bit more often...

The colour is... carbon!

In any case, Alpine makes the most of the design. The French even announced they are below the minimum weight for their car (798 kilos), so they will have to carry extra ballast next season to comply with regulations. In part, the weight reduction can be traced to the lack of paint or varnish on various parts of the car. For example Haas, Alfa Romeo and Mercedes, their cars don't have a full coat of paint and the black on the car is the carbon.

No miracles are expected from Williams this season, though in terms of nostalgia, Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant's new car scores high. The car features new sponsor Gulf, the petrol brand that featured prominently on McLaren's cars in the past. Unfortunately, the exact livery of the time did not imitate Williams. It might come, as Gulf already announced - with the help of fans - that they will soon come up with a new livery.

Backlog for McLaren

Speaking of McLaren, team boss Zak Brown has been wanting to return to the top of the grid for years, but that already seems to be out of the question. The English team indicated during their presentation that they were not entirely satisfied and would soon come up with updates. The first kilometre during a Grand Prix weekend have yet to be driven, but McLaren already seem to be on the back foot.

Finally, Red Bull Racing. Well. Red Bull - and a week later AlphaTauri. The world champion and sister team had the motorsport newsroom flown to New York for the presentation of the newly painted RB-18, which, moreover, was only shown after totally irrelevant Red Bull athletes (in F1 terms) were given the chance to give extensive interviews. Newsflash: the Red Bull car looks pretty much the same every year, so not much exciting to see there either.

For Red Bull, the aim was apparently to get maximum attention and show the minimum. Mission accomplished! Only during the winter tests will the technical gadgets on the RB-19 become clear. Just a few more days of waiting, then, and Red Bull will not be able to hide anymore either.