The 2018 Formula 1 season has finally come to life as teams began unveiling their challengers for the upcoming campaign.
The t-wing and the shark fin have been done away with from last season while the halo has been introduced in order to increase driver safety.
Haas Racing kicked off the launch season after they became the first team to unveil pictures of their car with the new head protection device – the halo. They have opted for a three colour livery for the upcoming campaign.
Williams Martini Racing were the next team to follow suit after they launched their challenger in London on Thursday evening (15 February). The car has been christened the FW41 and it looks significantly different from last year's car and it is likely to have a significant input from new chief technical officer Paddy Lowe from Mercedes and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer, who were appointed at the start of last year.
"The car has many new features, most of which are not all that obvious, but externally the team has pursued a very different aerodynamic concept which has allowed us some significant progress in aerodynamic performance. All Formula One cars are an evolution of what has gone before to some extent, but the FW41 does involve a number of departures from the directions that have been pursued in the past," Lowe said talking about the changes in the car compared to 2017, as quoted on Williams' official site.
Red Bull Racing are the next team in the pipeline after the Austrian-owned team confirmed that they will launch their car on Monday (19 February). The four-time constructors' champions' launch will be highly anticipated as they are expected to be one of the main challengers to Mercedes in the upcoming campaign.
Sauber and Renault are next up with the former set to unveil an all new livery following their tie up with Alfa Romeo. They will reveal their new car via an online launch, with Renault also launching the RS 18 on the same day (20 February).
February 22 is likely to be the most anticipated of all launch days after last year's title contenders Mercedes and Ferrari confirmed that they will be launching their cars on the same day. The two teams are said to have an agreement to do it at different times to ensure there is no clash.
The reigning champions will be launching their car at Silverstone with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas expected to take the car for a test run on the British circuit. Ferrari, on the other hand, will have an online launch for their car.
The new McLaren MCL33 will follow next with the Woking-based outfit expected to unveil their new Renault powered car for the 2018 season. They ended their partnership with Honda at the end of last season and will hope that they can get back to challenging Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull for race wins in the upcoming campaign.
Toro Rosso and Force India were unconfirmed until recently, but the former revealed that they will launch their 2018 challenger on the day of the first pre-season test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. The latter, who finished as the best of the rest last year in fourth place, are yet to confirm their launch date.
A detailed list of car launch and pre-season test dates can be found below.
|Red Bull||February 19||Online|
|Toro Rosso||February 26||Barcelona|
|Force India||To be confirmed|
Pre-season test schedule
|Barcelona, Spain||February 26 - March 1|
|Barcelona, Spain||March 6 - 9|