A First Look: 2018 Formula 1 Cars, Drivers And Teams
Pre-season testing has begun, and F1 teams have already showcased their 2018 cars.
I am going to share with you the one major change from last season, along with a breakdown of each teams cars, and racers.
There isn’t much change around technical regulations apart from one major requirement; a “halo” cockpit protection device.
In July 2017, Formula One confirmed that it would be implementing a halo cockpit protection device for the 2018 season. According to various technical team directors it has been a significant challenge to design ways in which the device can be installed without affecting weight performance, or aerodynamics.
The “halo” is a piece of titanium. Each team are given the same piece, in the exact same design and weight. The teams then had to figure out how to install the “halo” without disrupting the car they have already been building, whilst also keeping the weight in the safe threshold zone.
The Mercedes-AMG F1 team created the below video to explain what they had to do when installing the “halo”.
The Teams And Cars
There are a few team changes this year, as well as the introduction of engine-car collaborations. Here is a breakdown of the 10 teams, and their 2018 drivers.
Founded by Gene Haas, Haas were first introduced to the FIA Formula One Championship in 2016 and became the first American-led Formula One team since 1986.
The two confirmed Haas drivers are Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
The Haas VF-18 was revealed on the 14th February, and is the lone American-based structure in Formula One (with work also taking place in Oxfordshire). The VF-18 is powered by Ferrari engines.
Williams is one of the most well-known names in Formula One racing. Founded by Frank Williams in 1969, he became on of the strongest forces in F1. After selling his controlling interests, Frank re-established Williams in 1977.
They have won 16 FIA Formula One World Championships titles, and is the third most successful team on the grid.
The two confirmed Williams Drivers are Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin (who has replaced Felipe Massa).
The Williams FW41 was revealed on the 15th February. The new car was designed by Paddy Lowe and is said to be a huge improvement on their 2017 car.
Christian Horner and Adrian Newey are back for the 2018 Red Bull Formula One Season.
The two confirmed Red Bull Drivers are Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.
The Red Bull RB14 was revealed on the 19th February and became the first of the 2018 cars to hit the silverstone track a week before testing. The RB14 has been touted as one of the strongest from an aerodynamic and engine perspective
Alfa Romeo Sauber
For the 2018 season, Swiss-based Sauber have formed a strategic, commercial and technological partnership with Alfa Romeo. This will be the first appearance for Alfa Romeo in 33 years.
The two confirmed Sauber drivers are Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc.
The Alfa Romeo Sauber C37 was revealed on 20th February and will be using Ferrari’s 2018 power unit.
Renault entered the Formula One world as a constructor in 1977.
The two confirmed Red Bull Drivers are Niko Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz.
The Renault RS18 was revealed on the 20th February and was developed and manufactured in the UK, and its power unit was developed in France.
Over the last four years in Formula One, Mercedes have won eight F1 titles. Mercedes has become one of the most successful teams in recent Formula One history, having achieved consecutive Drivers' and Constructors' Championships from 2014 to 2017.
Confirmed Mercedes drivers are Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Mercedes revealed the WO9 on the 22nd February and is the car that everyone wants to beat. There are some similarities to last year’s car, but everything has been upgraded and Lewis Hamilton has said that “this is better than last year’s car in every aspect”.
Ferrari are back with a vengeance, and a car that can rival the Mercedes AMG.
Confirmed drivers are Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
The SF70-H was revealed on 22nd February and features heavily changed sidepods, longer wheelbases and an aerodynamic addition around the halo.
20-time world champions, McLaren are back and making history with a Renault engine-powered car after years of an underperforming Honda engine.
McLaren confirmed drivers are Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.
The McLaren MCL33 was revealed on 23rd February and debuted an orange colour scheme. McLaren said the following:
“The design, engineering and aerodynamic departments have done an incredible job delivering a new car with a new power unit in an extremely short timeframe. We never took the easy route or looked to shortcut a process or a solution; and the result is a car that is neat and well-resolved."
The Toro Rosso team are back after three awful Formula One years, with a brand new Honda-fueled engine. They finished seventh last year, and are hoping their new car will improve on this for 2018.
Confirmed drivers are Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly.
The Toro Rosso STR13 was revealed on 26th February.
Force India have always been the underdog when it comes to Formula One. Their cars have always performed well, especially when the likes of McLaren and Renault do not.
Confirmed drivers are Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.
Force India revealed their VJM11 car on the 26th February and was by far the most interesting choice of colouring for the second year in a row. New structure has been introduced but is very much still the same DNA as last years car.
That’s all of the teams, drivers and cars for the 2018 Formula One Championships. The first race takes place in Melbourne on the 25th March.