By Berthold Bouman
The 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship finally gets on its way with pre-season testing starting on February 5 at Jerez, Spain; three test sessions are scheduled in February and March. (see schedule below)
All teams bar Marussia have also announced their official launch date, Lotus will be first next Monday, and Williams will reveal their new car just ahead of the second test session which will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain.
Most teams have again opted for a more modest approach, and will unveil their 2013 contender during the first testing days of the season in Jerez. Only Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull will throw a real big party to celebrate the unveiling of their new car, but the smaller teams like to spend that money on the car itself, and not on the sponsors, VIP’s, photographers and reporters.
There were just a few changes in the regulations and it is therefore not likely that the 2013 cars will be much different from last year’s generation, most cars will actually be an evolution of the 2012 design. But there is one change the fans will welcome, teams are allowed to cover up the ugly stepped nose with a small piece of laminate — nicknamed a ‘modesty’ or ‘vanity’ panel — to smooth the nose section.
2013 Car Launches
January 28 Lotus Online View photos E21 January 31 McLaren Woking View photos MP4-28 February 1 Ferrari Maranello View photos F138 February 1 Force India Silverstone View photos VJM06 February 2 Sauber Hinwil View photos C32 February 3 Red Bull Milton Keynes View photos RB9 February 4 Mercedes Jerez Spain W04 February 4 Toro Rosso Jerez Spain STR8 February 5 Caterham Jerez Spain CT03 February 5 Marussia Jerez Spain MRV02 February 19 Williams Barcelona Spain FW35
Pre-season testing days
February 5-8 Jerez Spain February 19-22 Barcelona Spain February 28 - March 3 Barcelona Spain