Formula 1 new cars 2020: Mercedes revealed
Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Power+
We detail all 10 new cars for the upcoming season as they’re revealed – and what to look out for this year
The 2020 Formula 1 season will begin on 15 March in Melbourne and the 10 teams that compete at the pinnacle of motorsport have begun revealing their new cars.
Here, we round them up as they’re made public and tell you what to look out for from each in the coming year.
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel (German) and Charles Leclerc (Monégasque). Car revealed: 11 Feb
After yet another squandered opportunity at a first F1 championship title since 2008, the pressure must be reaching an all-time high at Ferrari. The fabled Italian scuderia’s new racer is named for its 1000th F1 grand prix start, which is due to come in France at the end of June.
Bright young thing Leclerc is perhaps best placed to finally put the brakes on the Mercedes/Hamilton steamroller, following a superb first season at Ferrari in which he consistently outshone four-time champion Vettel and by rights should have won more than two races. This will also be a crucial season for the German veteran, who appears past his best and is possibly in line for replacement by Hamilton next year.
Haas Ferrari VF-20
Drivers: Romain Grosjean (French) and Kevin Magnussen (Danish). Car revealed: 11 Feb
American outfit Haas suffered a torrid time last year, finishing a distant ninth, despite having been the ‘best of the rest’ in 2018. The VF-20 will have to be a whole lot better than the VF-19, which team boss Günther Steiner described as “the strangest machine I’ve ever worked with”, as neither driver was able to generate sufficient heat in the tyres during races.
Both Grosjean and Magnussen are retained, primarily due to their experience with chassis development. This might well be to the private annoyance of some other racers, given this pair’s reputation for overly tough defending and a propensity for incidents, which even led to a number of clashes with one another last season. Very hard to predict, this one.
Red Bull Honda RB16
Drivers: Max Verstappen (Dutch) and Alexander Albon (Thai). Car revealed: 12 Feb
The second-best car last year was the Adrian Newey-penned Red Bull, particularly in the hands of Flying Dutchman Verstappen. The other car was initially filled by Gasly, but he struggled and was replaced by the promising Anglo-Thai Albon. The latter will have to step up his game a notch after being granted the drive full-time for 2020.
The Honda hybrid powerplant has finally come good in the Milton Keynes cars after years of chugging around at the back of and breaking down with McLaren. Hamilton versus Leclerc versus Verstappen would be a fantastic title battle to witness if it happens.
Mercedes-AMG F1 W11 EQ Power+
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (British) and Valtteri Bottas (Finnish). Car revealed: 14 Feb
Neutrals will be glad that the current era is in its final year, because it has been utterly dominated by Mercedes-AMG. Winning every team and driver championship since 2014, the squad is the most dominant in F1 history. It would be a fool who bets against yet another title for Hamilton, given how comfortably ahead the team was last season, although nothing is a given. Reports – denied by team boss Toto Wolff – suggest that Daimler may withdraw its works support rather than invest heavily in the new formula for 2021, which could make this one spectacular last hurrah for the Silver Arrows.
Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39
Drivers: Kimi Räikkönen (Finnish) and Antonio Giovinazzi (Italian). Car revealed: 19 Feb
The team formerly known as Sauber, now running as a works Alfa Romeo effort, will look to consolidate its strong showing from 2019 before going big on the new rules for 2021. Expect the Iceman, now 40 years old, to be as cool as ever – a podium might be within reach this season – while his young team-mate needs to do better if he’s to retain his seat.
Alpha Tauri Honda AT01
Drivers: Pierre Gasly (French) and Daniil Kvyat (Russian). Car revealed: 14 Feb
Red Bull has changed the name of its junior F1 team – which traces its root back to 1985 as Minardi – from Toro Rosso to Alpha Tauri, after its fashion brand. It’s a move likely to cause confusion with another Italian team…
Toro Rosso had the best of its 14 seasons in 2019, finishing sixth in the rankings and scoring two podiums, one each for Kvyat and Gasly – a feel-good story for two drivers both dumped from the senior squad. Alpha Tauri will look to build on that unexpected success this year with the same pairing.
McLaren Renault MCL35
Drivers: Lando Norris (British) and Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spanish). Car revealed: 13 Feb
McLaren is at long last on an upward curve, following four highly embarassing seasons at the back of the grid. There might well be regrets about ditching Honda for Renault just as the Japanese powerplant hit form, but the chassis looked good in 2019 and the driver pairing is very strong. Sainz scored his first career podium – McLaren’s first since the opening round of 2014 – at the tail end of last year and his young British team-mate looks on course to emulate that sooner rather than later.
Racing Point BWT Mercedes RP20
Drivers: Sergio Pérez (Mexican) and Lance Stroll (Canadian). Car revealed: 17 Feb
Racing Point – just the latest name for the team that started as Jordan – has continued to provide the best ‘bang for buck’ in Formula 1 since it emerged from the ashes of Force India partway through the 2018 season. Its future is now secure as an Aston Martin works effort from 2021, thanks to a new investment by billionaire owner Lawrence Stroll. His mercurial son continues alongside midfield maestro Pérez, who has long had a knack of sneaking unexpected podium finishes.
Drivers: Daniel Ricciardo (Australian) and Esteban Ocon (French). Car revealed: 19 Feb
Since returning with a works team, Renault has invested a lot of money in F1 already but received very limited dividends. Everything is surely riding on it stealing a march when the new rules come in for 2021, so this year its target is simply “to regain confidence”. The return of young Ocon to the grid after a year out is more than welcome and everyone will be hoping that Ricciardo – surely the most likeable man on the grid, as well as one of the most talented – can recapture the sparkling form that won him races at Red Bull.
Williams Mercedes FW43
Drivers: Nicholas Latifi (Canadian) and George Russell (British). Car revealed: 17 Feb
Oh, what to do with Williams? For decades among the strongest forces in the sport, the small British team once again found itself miles off the pace last year, despite using arguably the best powerplant. The best hope for 2020 will probably be just a first points finish for Russell, while the heroic but ultimately underwhelming return of Robert Kubica lasted just one year. In steps 24-year-old Latifi, who was (a distant) runner-up in Formula 2 last season and brings a considerable sponsorship package.