Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Filed under Pre-season analysis

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Piecing it all together

A behind the scenes listen as Mercedes prepare for the big day

Sidepodcast: Piecing it all together

by Christine

BBC Radio 5live sent their current affairs programme for a spot of outside broadcasting today, with presenter Sarah Brett joining Formula One commentator Jack Nicholls at the Mercedes factory. It's the day before Mercedes launch their new car, so you can imagine the pressure is high and the excitement mounting, but the staff still found time to make sure Sarah's phone had a sticker over the camera to stop any covert shooting.

F1 fashion week

All that's in for 2017: new shapes, new colours, new sizes

Sidepodcast: F1 fashion week

by Christine

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!

Germany drops off the official 2017 F1 calendar

Confirmed 20-date season crosses the globe

Sidepodcast: Germany drops off the official 2017 F1 calendar

by Christine

This week the FIA's World Motor Sport Council gathered together to sign off on the official sporting calendars for the coming season, and F1 in 2017 is starting to take shape. The season starts in late March and goes through to November 26th, visiting 20 venues across the globe along the way. The notable exception this year is that the German Grand Prix has dropped off the calendar after failing to come to an agreement with the sport's promoters.

Two can play that game

Where's the driver drama hiding in 2016?

Sidepodcast: Two can play that game

by Christine

These early months leading up to 2016's Formula One season have felt intensely quiet, more peaceful than usual, with just a couple of surprises and news items to keep eager fans satisfied. There's been talk about engine changes, about potential cockpit cover designs and sneak peeks at new machinery, but for someone like me, there's not a lot to grab hold of as the new season draws closer. But even with an entry list that looks remarkably similar to 2015, there are still driver stories that I'm excited about.

Who goes where 2016 edition

Stability defines the grid as drivers stay put for new season

Sidepodcast: Who goes where 2016 edition

by Christine

The 2016 driver line up is a familiar one, with few changes from last year's roster of names and faces. The brand new Haas F1 Team have allowed for two more drivers to make the step up (or back) to F1, with Esteban Gutiérrez returning to the sport after a year as Ferrari's test driver. He joins Romain Grosjean at the new team, with the Frenchman leaving behind Enstone for the first time in his F1 career. Jolyon Palmer moves up to partner Pastor Maldonado for the new season.

Alternative F1 livery designs for 2015

A more colourful, more interesting selection of cars to look at this season

Sidepodcast: Alternative F1 livery designs for 2015

by Stuart Taylor

We were hoping, with McLaren free from Mercedes (and title sponsors!) that it would jazz up its livery: perhaps its rekindled relationship with Honda would bring back its Marlboro colours; after all, Lotus were all too happy to use completely irrelevant cigarette branding for its renaissance! Some of us even hoped it would return to its roots - the dazzling orange of the Brucey days. But no: with Dennis the entirely Unmenaced in charge we got grey. And black.

Red Bull rock Jerez with psychedelic test livery

Black and white zebra look conceals RB11 updates

Sidepodcast: Red Bull rock Jerez with psychedelic test livery

by Christine

Red Bull caused a stir when they rolled out the new RB11 in Jerez, with a striking black and white interim livery intended to mask many of the updates they have made. The team have been notoriously shy over some of their more innovative designs over the years but this eye-watering paint scheme is a step up to the next level. Beneath the crazy design on the surface, the team have concealed some significant updates to the new car. Naturally, the nose is revised and lowered as per the regulations, but they've also focused on changing the shape of the car to help the power unit wherever possible.

Defending champions Mercedes roll out F1 W06

Hamilton and Rosberg unveil evolution of title winning car

Sidepodcast: Defending champions Mercedes roll out F1 W06

by Christine

Mercedes opted for the understated launch of pulling the covers off their new car in the Jerez pitlane, the morning of the first test. The car is an evolution of the dominant F1 W05 that took 16 of the 19 available victories last year, and the new version is very reminiscent of its predecessor. The nose has obviously been altered to fit with the revised regulations, but otherwise the team have been focusing on increased reliability, knowing they have the speed advantage already in hand.

Sauber add a dash of colour to the 2015 grid

The team look to move away from their zero points last season

Sidepodcast: Sauber add a dash of colour to the 2015 grid

by Christine

With the Sauber launch comes the first real surprise of the 2015 batch of F1 cars. They've opted for a bright blue and yellow livery, in stark contrast to their grey paintwork from seasons gone by. The blue is eye-catching, but it also makes it quite clear how few sponsors the team actually have. Banco do Brasil sit snugly on the sidepods, with a few other names scattered around for good luck.

Arrivabene introduces 'sexy' Ferrari SF15-T

Vettel and Räikkönen settle in the new car

Sidepodcast: Arrivabene introduces 'sexy' Ferrari SF15-T

by Christine

In a season of dull silver and grey liveries, the familiar red of Scuderia Ferrari's new car is something of a relief. The SF15-T sports a red, white and black colour scheme, and have scattered their sponsor logos up and down the car. The new bodywork gives us some better sculpting around the sidepods and a revised nose - the new front end much smoother than the previous hoover-style tip.

Pérez and Hülkenberg pull back the covers on the VJM08's new colours

Force India put on a show in Mexico

Sidepodcast: Pérez and Hülkenberg pull back the covers on the VJM08's new colours

by Christine

Force India became the second team to reveal a sneak peek at what their 2015 Formula One challenger will look like, after Williams unveiled renderings of their new design. The new-look VJM08 may not be the finished article but does sport a developed nose and front wing, alongside a fresh coat of paint. The livery contains more black and more silver, looking eerily similar to McLaren colour schemes of days gone by.

Williams provide a look at the FW37

New for 2015 nose appears in concept image

Sidepodcast: Williams provide a look at the FW37

by Christine

Williams were the first team to show off their 2015 machinery, through a concept image published on the cover of an F1 magazine. The graphic offers insight into how the FW37 may look when it hits the track next week, but probably isn't the final design that we will see in Australia. Nevertheless, this initial glimpse has garnered some adoration and equal measures of criticism, particularly regarding the revised nose.

Who goes where 2015 edition

Vettel's move to Ferrari overshadowed by McLaren's late decision

Sidepodcast: Who goes where 2015 edition

by Christine

With McLaren letting the cat out of the bag and confirming Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button as their driver line-up for 2015, the grid is finally complete. Lewis Hamilton went into discussions for his new contract but never actually emerged the other side, but it's inevitable that he will stay with the Mercedes team for another year. It's a cracking line-up for next season, a great mix of youth against experience, and plenty of stability alongside the jarring changes.

Bumper calendar of 21 races scheduled for 2015 F1 season

Mexico City and the return of Korea boost list of races

Sidepodcast: Bumper calendar of 21 races scheduled for 2015 F1 season

by Christine

The World Motor Sport Council's official confirmation of the calendar increased the number of events from the provisional version. Now standing at a bumper 21 races, the season starts midway through March and ends at the very tail end of november. In between, the F1 circuit will travel around the globe in search of every spare tenth of a second they can find. Mexico City is a new entry this year, as is the return of the Korean Grand Prix - although there's been no word on whether it will be the Korean International Circuit that plays host or a different new track instead.

Take five - Race stars: The rivals

Ferrari present the most intriguing partnership of 2014

Sidepodcast: Take five - Race stars: The rivals

by Christine

There are a lot of interesting teammate partnerships up and down the grid this year, including the potential title battle between Hamilton and Rosberg, the incoming Ricciardo squaring off the now-veteran Vettel, and rookie challenger Magnussen learning from Button. The line up that everyone wants to watch, however, is at Ferrari. Double world champion Fernando Alonso alongside the comeback king Kimi Räikkönen.