Lotus, Renault and Sauber to launch cars today

F1 Fanatic round-up

Three 2011 F1 cars will be seen for the first time today.

First up is the new Lotus TL11. The team are releasing the first images of the car at 5am British time.

Two other cars are being revealed for the first time in Valencia. The Sauber C30 launch is scheduled for 10am GMT, then the Renault R31 should make its debut an hour after that.

I’m in Valencia today to bring you coverage and pictures from all the launches, so keep an eye on F1 Fanatic for the first pictures of the new cars.

And remember you can follow other updates from the launches using the F1 Fanatic Live Twitter app.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

2011 Festival Awards (Sundance.org)

The film Senna, directed by Asif Kapadia, has been awarded the World Cinema Audience Award for Documentary Film at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Massa has first run in F150 (Autosport)

??Felipe Massa had his first taste of Ferrari’s new F150 at Fiorano yesterday as the team conducted a filming day. After Fernando Alonso had taken the wheel for the initial shakedown following the launch event on Friday, Massa managed 60 kilometres of running in mostly damp conditions.??

Timo Glock (realTimoGlock via Twitter)

??Just a couple of hours until the new season really starts! After the launch of Ferrari the other teams launch three new cars tomorrow!

??What do you think, which team is top, which one has the best looking one and who will be the biggest surprise 2011???

Jenson Button (JensonButton via Twitter)

??Another positive simulator day on Friday. Feel we’re making some good progress! Also went for a swim with my engineers which was interesting!??

Win tickets to the launch of Virgin?s new car (MarussiaVirgin via Twitter)

??If you like #F1 and could come to our launch in West London on Feb 7, see our FB page or tweet #MVR02Launch & why I should pick you. 8 Tickets left!??

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

The Senna vs Fangio debate has been one of the difficult yet. rdenatale says:

When I saw the match up, my first thought was, how do I pick. But the stats alone really speak for themselves. I had to vote for Fangio.

While I am a little too young to have seen Fangio in action, being 5 or 6 years old when he won his last championship, I know that his accomplishments were legendary. A big point for me in this case is that Fangio drove in the era when the ??Drivers were fat and the tires were skinny.?? The cars might have been high-tech for the time, but far more basic than even a basic road car today. In my mind this means that the driver?s skills were a larger component of success.

Comparing a 1950s era F1 driver to one today is analogous to comparing a WW I fighter pilot to the commander of the Space Shuttle. One was pretty much on his own, the closest thing to telemetry being the pit boards, no radio, no engine or suspension electronics??, while the latter has computers in the car, and a local mission control connected over the internet to the factory.

Now I know that F1 hadn?t advanced quite as much by Senna?s day, the analogy might be closer to a WW I vs. Vietnam era fighter pilot. But the real turning point when the battle turned more towards engineering and less the driver himself was probably the mid-late 1970s between Fangio?s era and Senna?s.

From the forum

VettelS asks where will they be in 5 years?

Happy birthday!

Today’s birthday wishes go to Sharan!

On this day in F1

Renault announced Vitaly Petrov would drive for them on this day last year, making him Russia’ first Formula 1 driver.

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48 comments on Lotus, Renault and Sauber to launch cars today

  1. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 31st January 2011, 0:14

    So so so excited about the car launches. Specifically can’t wait til the 4th!

  2. The Lotus Renault GP r31 is going to be the surprise package of the year methinks.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st January 2011, 0:17

      I’ve seen an R30 in R31 trim, and I have to say, it looks better in the sunlight than it did at ASI. Even the red endplates work. It’s also got a full load of sponsors. I’m just hoping there won’t be a shark fin. There weren’t any sponsors on the R30 engine cowling and that’s prime space – perfect for a Lotus or Lotus Renault GP logo – so hopefully that means there’s no fin on the R31 either.

      • sato113 (@sato113) said on 31st January 2011, 0:38

        where did you see this car in the sunlight?

        i don’t think shark fins will exist in 2011, there is an area infront of the rear wing which cannot have any body work.

      • Guilherme (@the_philosopher) said on 31st January 2011, 0:45

        They have been using shark fins since 2008. I doubt they will ditch it now.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st January 2011, 0:57

          Ah, but an independent shark fin is about as heavy as one that is anchored. The reason is that it has to be more rigid in order to stop it from flapping about. And because it is heavy, the cowling supporting it has to be heavier than it would be without it. With the re-introduction of KERS, the cars now have to be 30kg heavier, which means overall weight is at a premium, and having that extra weight at the highest point of the car affects the centre of gravity.

          Likewise, the shark fins are designed to funnel air onto the rear wing. But now that the rear wing is adjustable, shark fins may adversely affect the flow of air onto the rear wing when it is down. Teams will be eager to avoid this.

          • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 31st January 2011, 9:18

            But without a shark-fin, that golden bar/line extending backwards from the airbox will be a bit wasted, won’t it? Makes me think they will have a fin.

            I agree that side-on, and in sunlight, the livery looks better. I still can’t believe the HUGE lotus logo on the nose though, and think especially there, the thick cold rim makes it look fat and ugly. Maybe the new car will have that part look much improved though, I certainly hope so, as it was never a really good looking bit of the R30 even in yellow.

      • Carsvschildren said on 31st January 2011, 0:59

        By full load of sponsors you mean that the company who owns them has slapped their own logo on the side to fill up space.

        It’s not the same as Sony or Budwiser giving them $50 million is it?

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 31st January 2011, 1:23

          They bought a stake in the team before 2010. Now they own Renault’s share. They’ve put a lot of money into it; they’re entitled to run their name.

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st January 2011, 2:57

            they’re entitled to run their name.

            They’re absolutely entitled to run their name, but they’re not a sponsor, they’re the team owners. Still, you’re right, it does look like they’ve got a number of sponsors. Certainly more than they had this time last year after ING dropped them like a hot potato.

          • Hare (@hare) said on 31st January 2011, 3:50

            I”m glad ING dropped them like a hot potato.. I couldn’t stand that colour scheme. Loving this one :)

          • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st January 2011, 6:04

            Yeah, the ING livery was one of the worst I can remember.

          • CarsVsChildren (@carsvschildren) said on 31st January 2011, 11:26

            Of course they are, it doesn’t mean they are flush with cash though does it.

            In fact probably means the opposite.

    • Hare (@hare) said on 31st January 2011, 3:48

      that, is one… SECKSI car!!!! Love it.. I’m having feelings I shouldn’t have towards cars.. :)

  3. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 31st January 2011, 0:44


    You got it right! :)

    I’m looking forward immensely to today’s launches. Three in one day! The first of the newer teams’ cars, the car Renault hopes to start winning races with again and of course, what will Sauber do?

  4. Scottie (@scottie) said on 31st January 2011, 1:00

    Scottie can’t wait for the launches either! great start to the week! :)

  5. Banburyhammer (@banburyhammer) said on 31st January 2011, 1:20

    This may not be the right forum to ask this question, but here goes:

    The new engine regulations in 2013 will be solely I4 engines, right? Because I was under the impression that it was, and yet im reading people talking about how there will be V4s in 2013.

  6. Martin said on 31st January 2011, 1:38

    here’s a photo of R31

  7. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 31st January 2011, 1:52

    Today when I woke up I had a different feeling in my stomach, it’s the feeling I always had for the past 8 years when the F1 season starts.

    Big thanks & well wishes to Keith who have to travel a good distance to bring us the launch & testing.

    Congratulation to Asif Kapadia & to his crew for winning the award.

  8. SeattleChris (@seattlechris) said on 31st January 2011, 1:57

    That means I’ll get the news tonight before I head to bed! It’d be so sweet if Lotus moves up to compete with the mid-pack… I want four or five front runner teams with all the rest battling for the rest!

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 31st January 2011, 3:00

      Unless HRT make a massive leap I doubt all the rest will be fighting with each other. Lotus and Virgin both have the potential to be in there this year.

  9. sharan said on 31st January 2011, 2:49

    thanks Keith
    excited about car launches :)

  10. Adam Tate said on 31st January 2011, 5:13

    Just saw the new Lotus on Autosport, looks like they’ve copied Mercedes air intake from last season, which strikes me as odd since it was banned. Other than that it looks to be a Major step forward for Fernandes and his crew.

  11. Felix said on 31st January 2011, 6:52

    i kinda dont like the renault livery, black car is just too boring, prefe the green lotus it is quiet sexier.

  12. matt88 (@matt88) said on 31st January 2011, 7:42

    wow, it’s my first year here on F1 Fanatic! i was desperately looking for a place with a coverage of the first tests and finally i came here.
    It was a very good site, and now it’s even better. Thank you for your devotion, Keith!

    P.S.: as a Ferrari fan, i know you’re only an evil British-biased journo(:)), but i don’t care.

  13. The Sauber is out… looks… like last year’s with with man mis-mayching sponsor stickers.

    Real. Big. Shame.


  14. HRT just posted on their facebook: “Just one day for the pre-season tests. We don’t have new car yet, but we do have new driver! We hope the new car is ready for the 2011 season and Narain make us enjoy!
    Thank you all for bein here one season more.”

    not filling me with confidence..

  15. Maciek said on 31st January 2011, 12:03

    With all the hubbub over the new cars here today, all I can say is: I love the smell of frenzied F1 fanatics in the morning. It’s days like these that I truly appreciate working from home, or as I like to call it, procrastination HQ.

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