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F1 2015 car thread

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I could've just made a post about this in the stuff thread but I figure we need a  place to speak about all the new cars as they are released anyway. I know that's still a fair bit away, but there's still plenty of speculation to be interested about surrounding the top 5 teams (and Lotus). 

Mercedes W06:
Reported improvements to fuel injection system.
New exhaust configuration compromising aerodynamics for power output.
ERS architecture also rumoured to be having a radical change made to it.
All these factors could produce up to a 70hp improvement on last season for Mercedes.

Red Bull RB11:
Red Bull will be Renault's works team in 2015.
Red Bull reportedly taking over the ERS design of the the new Renault power unit, while Renault will concentrate on the ICE.
New Renault power unit not expected to follow Mercedes split turbo design.
Renault power unit expected to undertake a major packaging change.
Red Bull expected to keep S duct system.

Ferrari 666: 
Ferrari, unlike Renault, expected to follow Mercedes style split turbo.
They are rumoured to yet again retain the front pull rod suspension.
Different sources report different things about the Ferrari nose - some say it will follow the Mercedes concept while others say it will follow the RB path.
Mercedes style lower wishbone on the front suspension.
After initially disastrous wind tunnel numbers, the 666 is now back on track and producing slightly more downforce than the F14T.

Williams FW37:
Not much to report, some rumours say Williams are producing a "safe" car.
No apparent reason why they won't continue with their low drag philosophy, and heavily undercut side pods.
Obvious area of improvement would be aero, and perhaps a more flexible to set up suspension for help in wet weather.

Mclaren MP4-30: 
In short, Peter Prodromou has arrived and told Mclaren their aero direction is totally wrong.
RB style front wing in Abu Dhabi in 2014 suggests the new Mclaren will follow much of the Red Bull philosophy that Prodromou helped create.
Also, like Ferrari, rumoured to be following the RB10 style nose solution.
New Honda power unit making mixed reports - some say it's on schedule, while other voices say the unit is thirsty and underpowered.
This is particularly concerning considering the Honda approach has been to focus on performance over reliability to begin - with the knowledge that reliability can be improved during the season.

Lotus E23:
Bad news for Maldonado. The car has failed it's first crash test.

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Yeah, I highly doubt it's gonna be called that :p I remember reading an article or book of some kind where it said the code name for the F2004 was 655, so by the process of adding 1 to that every year, it makes sense it's now arrived at 666. 

Judging by the pessimism surrounding Ferrari for 2015 though, the name "666" may turn out to be rather suitable. 

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Might be a fair bit away but the month will go very quickly, January always does! Looking forward to seeing the new cars, always do :) 

Is that true about the Lotus crash test? Frigging hilarious if it is!

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As long as they pass before the first test, failing a crash test shouldn't be too much of an issue. I imagine it gets them a lot of useful data actually.

The biggest question mark is going to be that Honda engine. On the one hand, they haven't homologated yet and they've been able to watch the others for a season while they work on it. 

On the other hand everyone else has a season's worth of running under their belts. My money would be on something fast but unreliable. Maybe a bit of a repeat of the MP4-17.

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Mclaren have the potential to build a very good car next year. They've got the (former) second in command of Red Bull's design group now on their team, and an engine manufacturer who's had complete access to the dominant engine on the grid this season while building their own. 

The issue for them now is to get these individually fantastic personnel working together well to make a car which integrates all the areas of its performance perfectly. And, they do need to make a big step in the chassis department. I can't see the Honda being as good as the Mercedes engine next season, and with the Mercedes engine in 2014 Mclaren came 5th, showing how poor that chassis was. So that needs to take a significant step. 

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So what I get out of this is that Ferrari is likely to be a complete joke again? Great, lovely times ahead then....


Then again, not surprised if this ends up being true. Now I know what Ferrari pre-Schumacher felt like.

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Seb, you said that Red Bull are expected to keep their S duct for next year. I've not actually heard of that (unless my mind is going on a complete blank), so what is that?

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Oh right, the little slots in the 'rudder' of their front nose? 

I remember in 2008 Ferrari and McLaren revealed their cars on the 5th and 8th January, but now they all usually do it on the day of the first test, with the exception of McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus often it seems

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I miss the big reveals, but I also like seeing the cars on track, at speed (or close to it), sooner. Will be very curious to see the performance of everyone. I'm not really expecting a clear leader when the season begins...

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SynGamer said:
I miss the big reveals, but I also like seeing the cars on track, at speed (or close to it), sooner. Will be very curious to see the performance of everyone. I'm not really expecting a clear leader when the season begins...
I'm not so optimistic about that. The W06 is going to be a monster and they are going to win again next year, of that there's no doubt in my mind. They're way too far ahead of the curve to be caught in one winter. 

I believe 2015 will just be a question of how much the other engine manufacturers and top teams can close up and maybe look at mounting a threat in 2016. With assistance from some relaxed engine homologation rules that is.  

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Well we said that was probably likely after winter testing at the start of this season, but that never happened.

I'm sure Mercedes won't be caught next year, and I can only really see them winning the championship, and I think Hamilton will win the drivers', he's on a roll now I think. 

Rosberg, I don't think he'll be as much of a threat to Hamilton for some reason, probably because Lewis has that upper hand with the title. I expect Red Bull, Williams and McLaren to be pretty close to each other next season, followed by Ferrari, Force India and Lotus with Toro Rosso and Sauber bringing up the rear.

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Mercedes will dominate again next year. The big question is, what happens if we change engines for 2016.

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I think the gap between Mercedes and their rivals will be a bit smaller, but they will still dominate. They have too much of a head start, a good team with lots of resources, and will probably be more reliable this year as well.

I'd love to see Williams get a race win or two.

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Me too. Great to see Williams back near the top. At the end of 2013 I was worried that they would end up like Caterham and Marussia sooner or later.

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Even more odd, Lotus seemed like the team who could make a push. It went completely 180 in the last 12 months. Williams taking sponsors from Lotus now to rub some more salt into the wounds. Hopefully they're both competitive next year, mostly for Bottas and Grosjean's sake.


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Jiggy said:
Even more odd, Lotus seemed like the team who could make a push. It went completely 180 in the last 12 months. Williams taking sponsors from Lotus now to rub some more salt into the wounds. Hopefully they're both competitive next year, mostly for Bottas and Grosjean's sake.


But that would mean Maldonado would be closer to the front and I'm not so comfortable with that.

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The FIA has admitted to a loophole in the engine homologation rules, and so has accepted the "most logical and robust" way forward is to accept there is no homologation date for 2015.  

http://autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117259

There is very bad news if you're a Mclaren fan, however. Charlie Whiting has stated the 28th February homologation date still stands for Honda, as they are a new manufacturer in the sport and must face the same deadline that faced the manufacturers from last year. Which means they'll almost certainly end the year with the worse power unit. How much worse depends how on good the engine is that they start the season with. 

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VetteIfan said:
The FIA has admitted to a loophole in the engine homologation rules, and so has accepted the "most logical and robust" way forward is to accept there is no homologation date for 2015.  

http://autosport.com/news/report.php/id/117259

There is very bad news if you're a Mclaren fan, however. Charlie Whiting has stated the 28th February homologation date still stands for Honda, as they are a new manufacturer in the sport and must face the same deadline that faced the manufacturers from last year. Which means they'll almost certainly end the year with the worse power unit. How much worse depends how on good the engine is that they start the season with. 
It depends. If they can create a really powerful engine to start with, they can still improve reliability throughout the season.

This does have me confused though. If Honda are one year behind in terms of homologation date, does that mean they are in the engine freeze as well?

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