Formula One launches uncovered – What teams don’t want us to see
By Berthold Bouman
Not only the fans are looking forward to the 2013 car presentations, the teams are also looking forward to it, but then of course, they are curious about the cars of the rival teams. Last year Red Bull even covered-up the rear of the car when it entered the pit lane during testing to prevent other teams getting a peek at the new car.
Keeping novelties a secret has been part of the sport for as long as it exists, in 1978 Lotus boss Colin Chapman covered-up the rear of the Lotus 79 to mislead his rivals, it took weeks before the others finally realised the rear wasn’t the secret of the Lotus 79, but the floor, as it was the first ground-effect car using a reversed wing-shaped floor.
Today, teams still play hide and seek. Ferrari covered the rear of the F138 with a piece of carbon fibre so the diffuser doesn’t show, and a lot of black paint, which is also heat-resistant as the exhaust gasses are led through the rear of the car by the Coanda-style exhaust outlets, does the rest. The carbon parts are also black which adds to the confusion. It’s almost impossible to see the details but with a little Photoshopping we can reveal some details.
Same applies to the Lotus E21, although they didn’t really hide anything, the whole car is black which makes it very difficult to photograph the details. But after enhancing the contrast, the complete rear section of the car, including the structure of the diffuser, is revealed.
Force India VJM06
Force India is the only team that took their car out on the circuit for a spin as well, but again due to the black paint on the rear parts of the car it is difficult to see the details, again enhancing the contrast reveals more of the details.
McLaren and Sauber didn’t, very conveniently, publish any detailed photos of the car, or only published photos taken under a certain angle in such a way the details stay hidden. Playing around with Photoshop does make the rear of the McLaren more clear, but the crucial parts, like the diffuser, stay hidden.
Red Bull RB9
Red Bull kept everything hidden as well, and didn’t allow photographers to make their own pictures, though there is very little to see at the rear of the car, the exhaust looks similar to the 2012 version.
Toro Rosso STR8
Mercedes was even better in hiding the goodies, there is no single picture that discloses the secrets of the W04. Toro Rosso didn’t publish very detailed photos either. There is not much to see in the rear, and the exhaust is not really special either.
And last is the Caterham CT03, a beautiful car, Caterham has nothing to hide, nevertheless, a bit of Photoshopping reveals even more details, like all teams Caterham have worked hard on the rear of the car, with the Coanda-style exhaust outlets, and the very smooth rear section with diffuser.