With the launch of the R.S.17 today, Renault also confirmed two new drivers to their books – but it’s not what you think. Hülkenberg and Palmer are still gainfully employed but in addition, Sergey Sirotkin has been given the role of reserve driver which is a step up from his test driver duties of last season. He will participate in some Friday practice sessions and be on hand in case of emergency.
The Renault squad have been the first to offer 2017 a full on car launch, with drivers on hand to pull off the covers and a variety of fresh faces getting chatty about the machinery. The team are putting a lot of pressure on themselves this year, as they consider it their first full year as a works team, rather than coming out from underneath what Lotus left behind.
If you haven't caught it already, there is a fabulous interview on Badger GP today with Danny Watts, a racing driver, who has come out publicly as gay. There is little for us to add, except to encourage people to head on over and read the piece in full. Then read it again for good measure.
Despite being an outfit with one of the smallest budgets in Formula 1, the Sauber team provided fans with some truly innovative content last year. Although a number of constructors have previously dabbled with virtual reality in the past, the Swiss team put in a season long effort to bring their audience Formula 1 in 360 degrees.
With ten teams ready and waiting in the wings to pull the covers off their 2017 challengers, it's time for this year's launches to get underway. Ahead of pre-season testing, all ten squads will reveal their new cars within the space of seven days and this is the spot to follow all the action as it unfolds. From McLaren's new livery, to defending champions Mercedes and their many team changes, follow along with the Factbyte Factbox as we celebrate F1's 2017 launch week!
New Sauber driver Pascal Wehrlein has confirmed that he won’t be participating in the first pre-season testing in Barcelona, which gets underway in just over a week. The former Manor driver hurt his back during the Race of Champions in December, after an accident saw his car flip into a barrier.
Another season, another round of car launches and another sad realisation that F1 teams aren't very good at marketing their own machinery. Bless them they try their best, but where the motoring industry leads the field in photo-realistic CG car launches, the pinnacle of motorsport offers up anything but that.
The musical chairs at the top of the fastest teams appears to be complete now, with James Allison signing on to champions Mercedes to become their technical director. Allison left the Ferrari squad mid-way through 2016 after a three year stint, but now he will be in charge at Mercedes.
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|Sauber F1 Team||Online||20 Feb|
|Renault Sport F1 Team||TBC||21 Feb|
|Sahara Force India F1 Team||Silverstone, England||22 Feb|
|Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Silverstone, England||23 Feb|
|McLaren Honda||TBC||24 Feb|
|Scuderia Ferrari||Fiorano, Italy||24 Feb|
|Williams Martini Racing||TBC||25 Feb|
|Haas F1 Team||TBC||26 Feb|
|Red Bull Racing||Online||26 Feb|
|Scuderia Toro Rosso||Barcelona, Spain||26 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||27 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||28 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||1 Mar|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||2 Mar|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||7 Mar|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||8 Mar|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||9 Mar|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||10 Mar|