• Jerez test

Jerez launches

ESPNF1 Staff
February 6, 2012
Sauber launched its new car in Jerez on Monday morning © ESPNF1

The first pre-season test finally gets underway tomorrow at the Circuito de Jerez in Southern Spain, but the track is still going to be a hive of activity today. Three teams will be launching new cars - including reigning champions Red Bull - and Lotus will also present its new E20 to the media having launched the car online yesterday.

ESPNF1 is present at the circuit to bring you all the latest news, while the all-important images of the new cars will be displayed on this page as and when they are released. We'll also point you towards all the reaction from the teams and you can get the latest information by following our Twitter feed, where you can send us your opinion on the new designs. So, with four teams showing off their 2012 challengers here is a schedule of times for the day (all times GMT):

  • Sauber launch - 10:00
  • Lotus media presentation - 12:00
  • Red Bull launch - 13:00
  • Toro Rosso launch - 16.30

Lotus E20

The E20 was launched online on Sunday evening and then presented to the media on Monday at Jerez © Getty Images

Yesterday saw Lotus launch the E20 online, with Eric Boullier saying that he expects to challenge for fourth in the constructors' championship this season. Of the new cars featuring the stepped nose, it's certainly the most aesthetically pleasing.

Sauber C31

Sauber's new C31 has a neater rear end due to a redesigned gearbox © ESPNF1

Sauber was first to unveil its car on Monday, and the C31 also features a stepped nose. Chief designer Matt Morris said: "The C31 is revolutionary where we had fresh ideas, particularly at the rear of the car, and it is an evolution where we knew we could carry over certain approaches. We had to improve on the weaknesses we identified on the C30, but at the same time we wanted to maintain its strengths."

Kamui Kobayashi certainly seems to be in optimistic mood ahead of the new season. He says that the new regulations and softer compound Pirelli tyres will help the team in 2012.

Red Bull RB8

Red Bull's new RB8 was launched online © Red Bull Racing

The team has revealed the car via a video on its website, and even Adrian Newey's latest creation couldn't get away from the stepped nose design. It's got a slightly different solution to the others though. Newey admits that it's just a reaction to the regulation in order to maintain the original chassis shape:

"The restriction nose height which is a maximum height just in front of the front bulkhead hasn't really changed the chassis shape very much," he said. "We've kept more or less the same chassis shape, but had to drop the nose just in front of the front bulkhead, which, in common with many other teams, has led us to I think I'd probably say a slightly ugly looking nose. We've tried to style it as best we can, but it's not a feature you would choose to put in were it not for the regulation."

Sebastian Vettel admits that he is expecting a closer battle in 2012 because the regulations are more restrictive, and Mark Webber believes the off-throttle blown diffuser ban will hurt Red Bull and he's focussing on "understanding the losses" in performance in the new car.

Toro Rosso STR7

The new STR7 retains some obvious features from the 2011 car © Getty Images

We already knew that the new STR7 would follow the stepped nose route due to the front wings on display in the team garage, but the team has now launched the car officially. The new car retains the innovative double floor seen on last year's STR6, and has an extra inlet below the roll hoop.

Speaking at the launch Daniel Ricciardo said that he was confident of scoring points this season, but admitted he'd be able to make more of a prediction after the first day in the car tomorrow.

"We'll see tomorrow once testing gets underway and we know what we've got underneath us," Ricciardo said. "I know they've [the team] tried to go better than what they had last year, so if it's an improvement on that then points are realistic."

That's all of the launches for today. Williams will unveil its FW34 at 07:30 GMT on Tuesday before of the start of testing.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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