BMW and Ferrari have revealed substantial upgrades to their cars as F1’s ‘ground war’ in Europe begins.
Several other teams have brought upgrades as well – including the ones they’re all trying to catch, Brawn.
Ferrari have brought their interpretation of the “double diffuser”. The brightened photograph of Kimi Raikkonen testing at the Circuit de Catalunya (below) offers a decent view of it, and can be compared with Felipe Massa’s car at Bahrain above.
Raikkonen is also using a special lightened version of the F60 chassis, slimmed down by 10kg to allow him to position ballast more effectively while using KERS.
BMW has an even more comprehensive new range of parts, a consequence of its decision not to bring incremental developments during the opening flyaway races.
The front wing sports new flaps inboard of the end plates, the nose is raise and the rear wing has a new mounting arrangement.
The changes are more than just skin deep. The team have temporarily dropped KERS, though they intend to bring it back in a few races’ time. There is no ‘double diffuser’ on the car yet – they are expected to have one ready by the Turkish Grand Prix in two races’ time.
More pictures of the revised cars in practice
Among the other teams expected to bring new significant upgrades were Renault (rear wing), Brawn (floor and engine cover), McLaren (diffuser) and Force India (adjustable front wing). A more cosmetic change on Brawn’s BGP001 is sponsorship from the new Terminator film.
Here’s more pictures of these cars from testing today:
Images (C) Ferrari spa, Brawn GP, Renault/LAT, www.mclaren.com, Force India F1 Team, BMW ag
The BMWs showed improved pace in the morning practice session, although it was the usual names at the top of the times – Jenson Button in practice one, Nico Rosberg in practice two. We’ll get a better idea which teams have found improvements in qualifying tomorrow.
If you’ve spotted any other changes to the cars this weekend, post details in the comments.